Headquartered in Dubai, propertyfinder.ae was established by founder and CEO Michael Lahyani in 2005, in response to the region’s phenomenal growth rate and real estate boom. In November 2007, 51 per cent of the company was purchased by REA Group of Australia, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and one of the world’s largest online real estate advertising networks. In 2009, Lahyani regained 100 per cent control of the business.
Propertyfinder.ae has since consolidated its position as the Middle East’s number one online property portal. Produced in English and Arabic, it connects the Middle East’s real estate developers, brokers and agents with investors, buyers and renters, providing access to the largest audience of property seekers in the region, with over 50,000 live listings and 16 million property views per month.
Catcha Group’s investment in propertyfinder.ae sees the Group expand its reach beyond the ASEAN region and underlines Catcha Group’s commitment to emerging markets. Industry analysts predict that online advertising in the MENA region is growing at 37 per cent per year and is set to hit USD 2.8 billion in 2016, while mobile display advertising is predicted to increase at a rate of 40 to 50 per cent annually. propertyfinder.ae is set to ride this surging wave coupled with continuing property market growth.
Catcha Group founder and Group CEO Patrick Grove explained the strategy behind the move: “Classified is a winner-takes-all category. It’s a great model but only if you’re number one. propertyfinder.ae is the market leader, number one in a dynamic emerging market, positioning it perfectly for immense success and outsized returns.”
Catcha Group is one of the largest investors globally in the online classified space in emerging markets. The Group is the major shareholder of ASX-listed iProperty Group, Asia’s number one network of property websites, and iCar Asia, the largest network of online automotive sites in ASEAN.