PropertyGuru Pte, the Singapore real estate portal backed by investors including TPG Capital, wants to more than double its market share in Indonesia as the nation prepares to let foreigners buy property.
The closely held firm, already the biggest portal in Indonesia with a market share of 23 percent, wants to capture about 50 percent of the online real estate market in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy within the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Steve Melhuish said in an interview.
“Indonesia is one of the more challenging markets,” Melhuish said, citing the early stage of the market’s development, its competitiveness and the low advertising spent online.
PropertyGuru, Southeast Asia’s biggest online property portal, has a presence in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. It is targeting an Indonesian expansion as the nation is revising rules to open its real estate market to foreigners, such as allowing them lifetime ownership provided they reside in the country with a permit to stay.
“This would have a positive impact for PropertyGuru given our regional reach, where we would be able to match Indonesian properties with overseas buyers and agents acting on behalf of buyers,” Melhuish said.
PropertyGuru started operations in 2007 in Singapore with five staff and currently employs 310 employees as it seeks to benefit from the region’s growing middle class and increasing housing demands. It secured S$60 million in capital from Deutsche Telekom AG in 2012. The company got a further S$175 million from a consortium comprising TPG Capital, Indonesia’s PT Elang Mahkota and private-equity firm Square Peg Capital Ltd., PropertyGuru said in June.
At least over the next two years, PropertyGuru won’t need extra financing, Melhuish said. The company is in “no immediate hurry” to do an initial public offering, he said.