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News Corp picks up 25% stake in Singapore’s Elara Technologies for $30 million

The company is present in Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad, and is looking to foray into other key markets.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 26, 2014, 04.00 AM IST
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The company is present in Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad, and is looking to foray into other key markets.
The company is present in Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad, and is looking to foray into other key markets.
MUMBAI: Media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has picked up 25% stake in Singapore’s Elara Technologies, the parent company of Noida-based online real estate marketing platform Prop-Tiger.com for $30 million (about Rs 186 crore), valuing the company at $120 million or about Rs 744 crore.

In this round, the existing investors including SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures, are also putting another $7 million (Rs 43 crore) into the company, PropTiger.com said in a release. This is the third round of fundraising for PropTiger.com since 2011, which has collected $44 million (about Rs 272 crore) so far from key investors including SoftBank. New York-based News Corp’s previous investments in India include Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins Publishers.

PropTiger.com was founded in February 2011 by Agarwala and Kartik Varma, classmates from Harvard Business School, along with Prashan Agarwal, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian School of Business. Following the deal, Raju Narisetti, senior vice president, strategy at News Corp has joined the board of Elara Technologies Pte Ltd.

“We are planning to use the investment on technology and marketing efforts as we are looking to foray in 10 more markets in addition to top eight cities we are present in,” Dhruv Agarwala co-founder of PropTiger-.com told ET. “We are looking to bring transparency in resale property market. Currently, 95% of our business is coming from primary market and rest from resale, which is a big opportunity.”

The company is present in Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad, and is looking to foray into other key markets including Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Faridabad, Agarwala added.

PropeTiger.com had raised $2 million (about Rs 12 crore) in 2011 when SoftBank, Horizen Ventures and a few angel investors invested in the firm. SoftBank had invested through SoftBank China & India Holdings that manages Bodhi Investments LLC and focuses on early stage and selected pre-IPO opportunities in China, India and Southeast Asia. The second round of fundraising took place in 2012, when the company raised another $5 million (about Rs 30 crore) from SAIF Partners and Accel Partners.

Globally, News Corp has a substantial presence in online real estate through its ownership of Move, Inc., operator of realtor. com, and its majority stake in REA Group Ltd, operator of the leading Australian residential property website, realestate. com.au.

According to PropTiger.com, it has over 250 developer partners who market their new developments through the online platform. The company says that it has sold at least 10,000 properties worth over $1 billion (about Rs 6,200 crore) through the portal. Online real estate listing business has been bustling with activity of late as a number of brokers and buyers have been seeking to make better use of such platforms. Big developers such as Tata Housing Development Co and Godrej Properties have also started focusing on online platforms to attract more homebuyers. Competition is heating up in the online real estate industry, with venture funds rushing in to capture the $100-billion (over Rs 6 lakh crore) unorganised market which is estimated to reach $180 billion (over Rs 11 lakh crore) by 2020. In just residential property, the top eight Indian cities are likely to see an additional demand of 2.8 million units in the next five years, according to property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

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