99.co acquires Indonesia’s UrbanIndo
By Karamjit Singh January 22, 2018
- Valuation based on listings/listers, organic traffic, returning traffic, enquirers and enquiries
- Looking to enter other SEA markets in second half, open to acquisitions as entry point
THE largest home grown property portal in Indonesia, UrbanIndo which operates urbanindo.com, and claims 1.2 million active listings, has just been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Singapore based 99.co. Active listings is defined as a listing that is carried for a max of 12 months after which it is taken off.
The acquisition brings to an end UrbanIndo’s search for a buyer with the site also said to have explored a sale to PropertyGuru and iProperty the two players it was competing against in Indonesia. A PropertyGuru exec confirms that it was approached on occasions to invest in or acquire UrbanIndo in 2016 and 2017 but decided not make an offer.
[Paragraph updated with PropertyGuru confirmation.]
An industry observer familiar with the listings business notes that it is tough being the number three player in the property classifieds space. And that could be the reason why 99.co, which entered the Indonesian market in 2016, acquired UrbanIndo.
“We are excited to welcome UrbanIndo to join the family. They have an incredible team and have built up critical leadership in product, listings, and consumer demand that will put us on a 10x growth trajectory in Indonesia,” says Darius Cheung, CEO of 99.co in a statement announcing the acquisition.
Cheung believes that the acquisition of UrbanIndo will be a cornerstone to 99.co’s continual growth to become the number one property technology company in Indonesia.
Separately, Cheung tells DNA that the 100% acquisition does not include a lock in period for Urbanindo’s founder, Arip Tirta.
According to him, valuation was arrived at after looking at a number metrics that translate to liquidity in the market place ie “listings/listers, organic traffic, returning traffic, enquirers and enquiries”.
“With numerous synergy between the teams in two countries, we will be delivering exciting new products to serve buyers, agents and developers, and aim to be the leading property technology company in Southeast Asia (SEA),” said Petra Barus, CTO of UrbanIndo.
In line with its SEA ambitions, 99.co indicates that the second half of the year will see it enter new markets and whether this happens organically or via acquisitions, Cheung would only commit to saying, “we are open to it but there are no definitive plans”.
While declining to share its traffic numbers, 99.co claims to be the largest listing portal in Singapore and Indonesia with over 150 people across 4 cities. Cheung believes the company is well positioned to be the leader in the property technology sector. His shares that revenue in Singapore is roughly evenly split between agents who pay for their listings and developers who run ads for their various properties.
With its aim to be the leader in the region, specifically through providing agents with real-time market information and listing inventory, Cheung believes there will be a lot of innovation in creating richer and better online experiences, but regarding online property transactions going mainstream he is quite sure this will not happen, “for the next 10 to 20 years!”
Since its inception in 2014, 99.co has gained traction with property agents in Singapore and ended 2017 claiming over 150,000 active home listings. In Indonesia, it claims to have become the largest sales network for developers since its 2016 entry, with over US$150 million (RM590 million) worth of properties transacted per year. To date, its agent network has over 4,000 property agents with key partner agencies such as Century21 and ERA Indonesia.
Headquartered in Singapore, Crunchbase data shows that 99.co has raised a total of US$10.1 million and is backed by investors including 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, East Ventures, Sequoia India and Eduardo Saverin.