News Corp arm to pick up controlling stake in Housing.com parent Elara

News Corp arm to pick up controlling stake in Housing.com parent Elara
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30 Oct, 2020

Media conglomerate News Corp’s Australian digital advertising arm REA Group on Thursday said it will acquire a controlling stake in Elara Technologies, which runs online real estate businesses such as Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger Realty.

The deal, which includes an undisclosed amount of cash and newly issued shares, is expected to close in the current quarter, a statement said.

Elara will operate as a stand-alone entity within the REA Group structure, the statement said, adding that the former’s co-founder and CEO Dhruv Agarwala, along with the current leadership team, will continue to lead the Singapore-based company.

REA Group, along with News Corp, previously owned a minority stake in the company.

“India is an important piece in REA Group’s integrated global strategy and the business plans to continue to invest in Elara to create India’s leading digital real estate business,” the statement said.

Founded in 2011 by Agarwala, Kartika Varma and Prashan Agarwal, Elara Technologies has raised equity capital of $105 million to date from News Corp, REA Group, Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners), SoftBank and Accel, among others, the statement said.

“We plan to make significant investments in Elara going forward. With over 700 million internet users and roughly half a billion yet to come online, our increased investment in Elara will allow REA to be at the forefront of the considerable long-term opportunities within India, and the digitisation of the real estate sector,” REA Group CEO Owen Wilson said.

Elara offers a range of residential property services across digital advertising and transactions including personalised search, virtual viewing, site visits, home loans and post-sales services. 

The company began with PropTiger.com and since then it has grown, organically and inorganically, with the acquisition of Housing.com and Makaan.com.

Elara said its revenues grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% over the past three years, and organic traffic on Housing.com rapidly rose at a CAGR of 56% over the period from September 2017 to September 2020.

(Disclosure: News Corp is the parent entity of Mosaic Digital, which publishes TechCircle.)