News Corp enters Indian realty mkt with Rs 185 cr investment in PropTiger.com

After much speculation over the entry of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp entering the Indian e-commerce space, the company has finally zeroed in on online real estate advisory PropTiger.com and has acquired a 25 percent stake in the company.

In a statement on Tuesday, News Corp announced that it was acquiring the stake in the company for $30 million which roughly works out to about Rs 185.6 crore.

"PropTiger.com will provide analysis, information and insight so that Indians will be better informed when they make the most significant investment decision any family will make, buying a home. We believe the site will be the most important platform for developers seeking to market new properties and the most trusted and reliable source for purchasers, many of whom will be buying for the first time," Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp was quoted as saying in the statement.

Based out of Noida, PropTiger claims to be India's largest online real estate brokerage firm aimed at first time home buyers. The company operates only in 8 major cities in the country: Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.

Buyers have already bought at least 10,000 properties with a combined value of $1 billion through PropTiger, News Corp said. The company also seems to have its eye on the fact that the Indian real estate market for residential property will be worth US$158 billion by 2020.

News Corp will reportedly investing the funds into Elara Technologies, which owns PropTiger and Raju Narisetti, News Corp Senior Vice President, will also join Elara's Singapore-based board, News Corp said in a statement.

The real estate website was founded in 2011 by Dhruv Agarwala, Kartik Varma and Prashan Agarwal and has already received investments from Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and Horizen Ventures.

The three founders are all industry veterans. Agarwala was the CEO of GE's Infrastructure business in India, Varma has worked with fund houses like TCI Fund Management and Agarwal earlier had another real estate brokerage firm before joining PropTiger.

Unlike other real estate websites that offer a plethora of services, PropTiger claims to offer only two services: property advisory and loan advisory for customers. The company claims to have pioneered other innovations like Property Portfolio, Livability and Safety Scores, Resale Price Estimates and detailed Micro-Market Trends and Analyses. It also recently launched Data Labs services for real estate developers, private equity investors and banks.

NewsCorp, which already has investments globally in the real estate space, Move Inc in the US and REA Group in Australia, expects PropTiger to benefit from their existing technologies.

Updated Date: Nov 26, 2014 09:24:02 IST