Dubai, UAE: Classifieds unicorn EMPG announced on
Tuesday that it has changed its name to ‘Dubizzle Group’. The Group owns and
operates popular brands dubizzle and Bayut (UAE), as well as market-leading
classifieds brands Zameen (Pakistan), OLX (Greater MENA Region and Pakistan) and
Lamudi (Indonesia and Philippines).
The Group said its rebranding was an acknowledgement of the popularity of the
dubizzle brand across its markets. The Group’s corporate structure will remain
unchanged and each of its brands will continue to provide services to its users as
usual, as the organization continues to focus on its aim of creating better classifieds
The Group was founded in 2015 and achieved unicorn status in 2020. Its bespoke
classifieds portals employ over 5,500 people across 10 countries and receive over
167 million visits every month
EMPG, the Dubai-based unicorn that owns and operates Bayut & dubizzle in the UAE and Zameen.com in Pakistan, has announced the closing of a US$200 million investment round led by US-based growth equity fund Affinity Partners, with new funding from KCK, Acacia Partners, plus several other investors including Prosus, which maintains its stake.
The investment represents another significant milestone in EMPG’s journey as the Company establishes itself as the largest and most successful classifieds player in emerging markets, focused primarily on the MENA, South Asia and Southeast Asia regions.
The company aims to remain focused on its core markets, which are already cash-flow positive and growing sustainably. The majority of the investment would be earmarked for the UAE, the company’s largest market where it operates the market-leading Bayut and dubizzle brands.
EMPG’s popular classifieds and transactional product offering is deeply rooted in its technology platform and benefits from strong network effects. The company has invested heavily in its technology infrastructure, with its own tech centers comprising over 500 engineers. The company has said a significant part of the incoming funds will be devoted to further investment in its proprietary and highly scalable technology platform.
“With this round of investment, EMPG begins a new chapter in its success story. We are on track to double our revenue over the last 24 months while achieving an EBITDA positive position, and we look forward to continuing this strong growth trajectory,” said CEO Imran Ali Khan.
“With the successful closure of this round the company’s focus will now turn towards preparing for an IPO in the near future, which has always been part of our larger vision,” he added.
Haider Khan, Head of EMPG MENA, said the company’s flagship UAE brands Bayut and dubizzle had come together in 2020 and had greatly increased value to clients and consumers alike.
“Bayut and dubizzle have established themselves as clear leaders in the property, cars and general classifieds space since our merger in 2020,” said Khan.
“With the incoming funds, we aim to significantly invest in our tech platforms to further strengthen our product offering across the board to ensure that our users and customers are provided the best-in-class classifieds experience,” he added.
Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citi) acted as EMPG’s exclusive financial advisor and placement agent in the transaction.
EMPG and OLX Group announce merger of MENA and South Asia businesses
- Deal includes OLX Group’s businesses in Pakistan, Egypt, the UAE and Lebanon
- The agreement brings a US $150 million cash injection led by OLX Group with participation from existing EMPG shareholders
- EMPG valued at US $1 billion post transaction
Amsterdam and Dubai 28 April, 2020: Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), a leading property portal group in emerging markets, and OLX Group, Prosus’s global classifieds business, have announced their merger in Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE. The agreement includes a US $150 million investment round, led by OLX Group along with existing EMPG shareholders, which values EMPG at US $1 billion after the transaction. As part of the deal, OLX Group will contribute its operations in the four countries into EMPG and will become EMPG’s largest single shareholder, owning 39% of the company.
EMPG will use the new capital to develop a range of new services, creating a more seamless user experience, enhancing data transparency, and deepening market intelligence for both consumers and business users. In Egypt and Lebanon, EMPG will operate the existing OLX platforms, rolling out new services for the real estate community, as well as offering consumers a superior experience across all categories. In Pakistan and the UAE, both groups’ platforms will be operated by EMPG and will continue to operate through their well-known local brands.
The aggregated value of properties sold in these markets is estimated at US $90 billion, providing a commission pool for real estate agencies of over US $2 billion per annum. This presents a great opportunity for EMPG to enhance their real estate services in these markets.
“EMPG has grown at a tremendous pace since its inception,” said CEO Imran Ali Khan. “Our unique ability to scale using our proprietary tech has aided and enabled this expansion. This deal puts us one step further in our journey towards providing solutions in multiple markets to over a billion consumers around the world, expanding our classifieds offering significantly.”
Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of OLX Group, says “I’m proud of what we have built in these four markets. Our brands are household names, and currently help tens of millions of people to exchange goods and services every month. The next phase is an exciting one, with EMPG’s real estate industry expertise helping deepen the customer experience. As EMPG’s largest shareholder, we’ll have a front seat to explore how we can scale their services model further – taking our ambition to shape the future of classifieds into its next stage.”
EMPG is currently present in the GCC region with Bayut, Pakistan with Zameen, Bangladesh with Bproperty, Morocco and Tunisia with Mubawab, and Thailand with Kaidee. After this deal, besides expanding to Egypt and Lebanon, EMPG will also operate OLX’s platforms in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, and the dubizzle platform in the UAE.
Bayut, the leading online property portal in the UAE, has announced that it has acquired the GCC
business of Rocket Internet/Middle Eastern Internet Group’s Lamudi in a landmark deal that will see
Bayut take ownership of all Lamudi assets in the GCC, including its portals in Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
and the UAE.
Middle East Internet Group launched Lamudi.sa as the first real estate portal in Saudi Arabia in 2012,
followed by Lamudi.jo in Jordan. In 2015, Lamudi.ae was launched in the UAE.
The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Bayut’s parent company, UAE-based
EMPG, also owns Zameen.com in Pakistan, Bproperty in
Bangladesh, and Mubawab in Morocco, and has business presence in Spain and Romania as well.
The group successfully closed a $100 million Series D investment round earlier this year.
“Today is a very exciting day for us, as we embark on a new journey to start solving real estate issues
for the largest market in our region. Our extensive experience in similar markets puts us in a unique
position to provide both clients and end-users with a highly sophisticated product that is built to
address their needs. We aim to be a partner to them in their journey of buying or selling a home,”
said Bayut CEO Haider Ali Khan.
He said further that EMPG aims to aggressively grow and establish itself as the most dominant real
estate classifieds solution in the GCC. The group currently employs a workforce of 2,000 people
across all its markets, and receives close to 10 million visits on its websites every month, generating
around 70 million page views and over 2 million customer inquiries in the same timeframe.
“With a network of our sites operating in the region, we are also very well placed to maximize
consumers’ reach and clients’ exposure across a broader region. Our brand name, Bayut, means
‘homes’ in Arabic and our story is a very local one, and this is another step in making our brand a
household name in the natively Arabic-speaking region. With our experience and ability to deploy
significant capital effectively, we are very well placed to solve problems in the real estate markets of
the region through technology,” Khan said.
“Bayut has always focused on providing the most locally-tuned solution to the market, and the
intention behind this acquisition is to take the group’s philosophy to the greater GCC region, with a
focus on Saudi Arabia,” he added.
EMPG, the parent company of market-leading property portals in the MENA and South Asia regions, has announced that it has closed a $100 million investment in its latest and largest round of funding.
EMPG’s round was led by KCK Group while eight other investors, including Exor Seeds, participated in the round.
KCK Group is an investment fund which focuses on diverse sectors including life sciences, energy and industrial technologies. Exor Seeds is affiliated with Exor, the holding company controlled by the Agnelli family. Exor is one of Europe’s leading diversified holding companies with a net asset value of over $24 billion, and a portfolio including distinguished names such as Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Juventus FC and The Economist.
EMPG owns and operates Bayut.com in the UAE, Zameen.com in Pakistan, Bproperty.com in Bangladesh, and Mubawab in Morocco. The group is present in 40 cities across the UAE, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Spain and Romania, with over 2,000 employees.
Group CEO Imran Ali Khan said the funds raised by EMPG would be used for acquisition and investment opportunities, further technology development, and to further strengthen all portals’ position as top players in their respective markets.
“EMPG has grown from strength to strength by adding value to real estate markets through our unique business models and bespoke technology platforms, and with the conclusion of this round we will be looking to expand our geographical footprint,” he added.
To date, EMPG has raised a total of $160 million, making it the highest funded real estate tech company in the region.
EMPG said on Thursday it has wrapped up a first close of $50 million as part of a substantially larger investment round. EMPG owns and operates a portfolio of property portals that includes UAE-based Bayut.com, Pakistan-based Zameen.com and Bangladesh-based bproperty.com, and in May acquired Morocco-based property website Mubawab for an undisclosed sum.
“EMPG’s growth has been comprehensive across all metrics, on the back of some of the world’s most advanced digital real estate platforms developed by our R&D teams. With a compounded annual revenue growth rate of over 100% over the last five years, more than 15,000 real estate agencies, and 8 million-plus monthly visits across our portals, EMPG is ideally positioned for regional dominance” said EMPG CEO Imran Ali Khan.
Haider Ali Khan, the CEO of Bayut.com, said in a statement $25 million of these funds would be deployed in the Emirates with a focus on further consolidation. “The remaining funds will be used to further strengthen EMPG’s leading position in its other markets,” he added.EMPG has raised a total of $60 million in its four previous rounds, and the current round is its largest yet, bringing up the grand total to $110 million. The group has presence in 40 cities across the UAE, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Spain and Romania with over 1,500 employees.