Cian PLC's First Quarterly as a Post IPO Shows a Company Ready to Scale Up

November 24, 2021
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Cian PLC, owner and operator of the market-leading real estate vertical Cian.ru, has released its first quarterly results since it floated on the NYSE last month. The report shows much healthier financials than the company achieved in a heavily pandemic affected comparison period of 2020. Highlights of today's report include:

  • Revenue up 44% to $20.8 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA up 78% to $2.1 million
  • Net loss widened by 25% to $4.1 million as the company ramped back up its spending
  • Traffic was up 4% to 18.7 million unique monthly visitors

Commenting on the results, Cian's CEO and founder Maxim Melnikov said:

"Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of our monetization strategy in our core markets as well as on a federal scale, increasing attractiveness of our product and service proposition and Cian's market leading position. We will continue to execute our strategy investing in promoting and expanding our platform and building up a wider end-to-end-value proposition for our users to ensure long term growth and leadership of Cian.”

The report noted that apart from a significant increase in operating expenses (+41% year-on-year) as the portal ramps up business, the widening of net losses was related to share-based payment expenses as well as IPO-related expenses. While headcount increased with the acquisition of regional portal N1 in December, and IT costs went up due to a migration to cloud-based services, marketing expenses increased year-on-year because Cian is trying to grow and monetize outside of its primary markets of Moscow and St Petersburg.

Cian is strongest around Moscow and monetizing listings elsewhere after conceding free listings in most regional markets during the worst of the pandemic is a priority for management. While the number of listings dropped both inside and outside Moscow, the revenue generated from them grew over the three month period, especially outside of Moscow where despite a 21% decline in volumes, revenue generated was up 137%.

There were some notable operational highlights in the quarter as well. Apart from listing on the NYSE, Cian also debuted its Cian.Transaction product - a platform to facilitate end-to-end real estate transactions online, including document checking, verification, signing, letter of credit services and registration. The segment generated its first revenue of around $93k for the quarter.

Elsewhere, Cian PLC has appointed individuals with plenty of international experience in the world of property portals to guide the company on its journey on the public market. Joining founder and CEO Maxim Melnikov on the board are:

  • Simon Baker (former CEO of REA Group and seasoned tech investor)
  • Chloe Harford (former senior vice president of strategy at Zillow Group)
  • Gilles Blanchard (founder of SeLoger and early investor in Zameen)
  • Douglas Gardner (Board Member and Chair of Audit Committee at Kaspi.kz)

With the Russian market recovering, Cian able to re-monetize operations in 12 additional regions during Q3 and the launch of the company's flagship transactional platform, the company's management expects to grow revenue by between 45% and 48% compared to full-year 2020 figures.

November 24, 2021
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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