Bayut.com has secured new investment and plans to expand its online services to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain in the first quarter of 2015. Founded in 2007 by the Ali Khan brothers, Bayut.com has since welcomed Gilles Blanchard (founder of Seloger.com) as an investor and chairman of the board and now welcomes a new investor allowing it to expand in the MENA region. The terms of the investment are not being disclosed at this point.
“MENA is a very interesting region where you find markets at different levels of maturity or lack of, and it is not only about getting a business up and running, it is also about educating the market. The challenge is an open one and we plan to fully avail the opportunity,” said Haider Ali Khan, CEO of Bayut.com.
2014 was a very successful year for Bayut.com with a lot of investment in building scalable technology platforms to prepare the stage for expansion. Mr Khan further expanded on this: “We have worked extremely hard on building scalable solutions and this give us the ability to move at an extremely fast pace. We also have designed the solutions to allow us to localize the user experience for any country in the region and do that very efficiently.”
The executive team behind Bayut.com is the same team that founded and runs Zameen.com, Pakistan’s largest property portal. Gilles Blanchard, who is also an investor in and chairman of Zameen.com, brings with him years of experience of working in western markets where he founded Seloger.com (largest French property portal).
“The diversity of the team is exceptional and the story is fantastic. The team is made of entrepreneurs who are brothers and have built the largest property portal in a frontier market, which is also one of the most populous countries in the world (Pakistan). Couple that with strategic investors with deep knowledge of western markets, and you have both ends of the spectrum covered. I feel great about our ability to handle MENA better than the competition, because we not only have the experience, we also know how to build the leading portal in nascent markets,” said Gilles Blanchard, chairman of Bayut.com and Zameen.com.
The team also plans to launch property classifieds in three other countries in MENA once Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain sites are operational. “We have identified countries which match our strengths and we have every intention of making sure our stamp is very visible in the region,” concluded Mr Khan.