Frontier Digital Ventures Ltd,a leading operator of online classified businesses in frontier and emerging markets, is pleased to announce an investment in InfoCasas, the #1 property portal in Uruguay and Paraguay and the #2 property portal in Bolivia.
The investment in InfoCasas represents a highly targeted, strategic expansion into the South American online classifieds market. Frontier has targeted the dominant portal in the less competitive markets of Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. These markets have a combined population of 21.0m, an average GDP growth rate of 3.3% (World Bank, 2016) and a mobile penetration rate of 119% in 2015. Uruguay is also one of the most developed markets in South America, where InfoCasas was founded.
InfoCasas has established itself as the clear market leader in Uruguay and Paraguay, and is now commencing its monetisation strategy. 1H 2017 revenues for Infocasas were US$428k, up +56% from 1H 2016. As at July 2017, Infocasas had over 65,000 listings, up from 34,000 in July 2016 and monthly sessions were 504,128 (Google Analytics), which included a high proportion derived from organic searches (over 80%).
FDV founder and CEO, Shaun Di Gregorio said: “InfoCasas is a highly strategic investment into the South American online classifieds market, following a rigorous assessment of the competitive dynamics in play. InfoCasas is the clear market leader and is starting to implement transactional revenues including financing and rentals. We look forward to implementing the relevant aspects of our v2.0 online classifieds business model with the InfoCasas team.”
Monetisation in each market
Based on their competitive positions, Uruguay is fully monetising its leading position, with Paraguay having commenced monetisation in late 2016. Bolivia is expected to commence monetisation in 2H 2017. Combined revenues for 2016 were US$683k, up 81% from 2015.
Ancillary revenue streams
Infocasas generates revenues from offline services including the distribution of its “Infocasas” magazine, where it monetises advertisements from property developers and agents. Total revenue from the magazine in 2016 was US$231k.
InfoCasas also monetises temporary rental opportunities through its rentals business Casas en al Este (acquired in 2016), a temporary rental site specialising in coastal properties in Uruguay. It is also working towards commercial alliances with major rental portals such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Expedia to replicate Infocasas listed properties on their platform.
Infocasas also provides home finance through its online portals in conjunction with the largest private bank in Uruguay.
Shaun added, “Infocacas co-founders Ricardo and Alejandro have deep experiences and a strong understanding of the local real estate markets. They have established a solid business and are successfully leading their teams towards delivering strong operational growth in their local markets.”