Swedish Investment Firm Buys 10% of Propertyfinder for $20M

Alexis Baghdadi, Jan 12 2016

The Dubai-based Propertyfinder has sold 10% of its shares in a primary investment round to the Swedish investment firm Vostok New Ventures, for the sum of $20 million.

This marks the second funding round for Propertyfinder, following an initial investment by BECO Capital, and sets the overall value of the company at $200 million. Founder and CEO Michael Lahyani said the investment will be used to expand sales and marketing operations in the MENA, as well as to develop the company’s proprietary technology, notably implementing a CRM system.

Propertyfinder is the fourth MENA company in Vostok New Ventures’ investment portfolio. It follows a recent $1.7 million investment in the Egyptian recruitment site Wuzzuf, and a combined $15.5 million in two Pakistani companies.

Cross-MENA Pesence Guarantees Resilience

The investment comes despite bearish forecasts for the real estate sector in Dubai, Propertyfinder's home market. According to estimates by CBRE consultants last December, property sales prices saw a double-digit drop in percentile points during the first 11 months of 2015, and further drops are expected in 2016.

According to Lahyani, Propertyfinder hasn’t seen any significant slowdown in traffic - from a dealer perspective. Founded in 2005, Propertyfinder employs more than 150 people, and operates real estate classifieds platforms in 7 MENA countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Lebanon, and the UAE.

Real estate brokers and developers pay a monthly subscription to advertise on Propertyfinder. The company records around 1 million monthly visits across all its websites, generating about 300,000 leads. The UAE accounts for more than half of total revenue, with 60% of visits to the UAE website related to sales. The company reports profits in its core markets, as well as on a group level.

Qatar is the company's second-largest market by revenue. However, the more populous Egypt and Saudi Arabia offer the most growth potential.

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