Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

Meet Lamudi: the Rocket-Backed Startup With Profits in Sight

  • Real estate website raised $32 million from existing investors
  • Chief Hermann seeks to dominate emerging-market real estate

You’ve not heard of Lamudi GmbH, but you might want to address that. The real estate portal for the developing world, with nearly a million property listings, about 600 employees and operating in more than 30 countries according to company statistics, was founded in 2013 and is backed by Rocket Internet SE. It just raised its biggest financing to date in a move that could make the startup "achieve profitability over the next two years", its managing director said.

Lamudi, which grew sales 460 percent last year and targets faster growth this year, raised 29 million euros ($32 million) from Rocket’s Asia Pacific Internet Group, Holtzbrinck Ventures and retailer Tengelmann Group, all of which are previous investors in Lamudi, to expand in Asia and Latin America, Managing Director Paul Philipp Hermann said.

Paul Philipp Hermann

Photographer: Claudia Fellerman

"We are growing our revenues at rapid speed and this money would definitely be enough to become profitable,” Hermann said by phone, declining to give more details on his company’s financials. “Whether we decide to become profitable or whether we want to grow further and raise more money is a question we will address sometime mid-next year.”

Rocket is under pressure to show its investments pay off after Europe’s largest startup factory showed little progress reducing losses at its businesses after the first nine months of last year. Rocket Chief Executive Officer Oliver Samwer seeks to cut losses this year and help at least three of its biggest startups to profit starting in the fourth quarter of next year.

Lamudi has no insight into Rocket’s other investments and focuses solely on creating a successful company, Hermann said.

Now in its third year of life, Lamudi links real estate developers and brokers with the growing middle class in emerging markets including the Philippines, Indonesia and Mexico. Rocket backs the company via the Asia Pacific Internet Group, its venture with Qatari communications group Ooredo.

Lamudi wants to use the funding to further "build dominance,” of its brand, Hermann said. It competes with the likes of Navent Group’s inmuebles24 in Mexico and Zameen in Pakistan. In the Philippines, it bought local rival from Ringier AG and Summit Media.

While the company currently has no plans to expand to new countries, it could technically do so "within a couple of weeks,” he said.

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