With six months of the year still to go, it's shaping up to be an incredibly busy year in real estate investment.
As of 30th June 2023, Online Marketplaces has published 29 stories about investments of six figures or more in portals and adjacent proptech businesses worldwide this year—11% of our total output, almost equal to the 34 we covered in the whole of 2022.
But where is the money going? Who's getting the lion's share—and why should you care?
The big picture is that we've covered financial investment worth at least $606M worldwide in the first six months of the year. However, 2023 is on track to fall slightly behind our 2022 estimate of $1.42Bn—which doesn't include undisclosed funding rounds.
The US and LATAM regions lead the way by some distance, with each of the six biggest deals occurring in North and South America respectively.
Seed rounds (including pre-seed) were the most common type of investment in the real estate industry in the first six months of the year, constituting over $24M of investment.
Understandably, (pre) seed recipients trend towards younger businesses that launched between 2015-2021.
The award for the largest seed round is shared by US marketplace Propertymate (now Newhomesmate) and LATAM brokerage Pulppo, both of whom raised $5M. Meanwhile, El Salvadorean marketplace Propi raised $2.5M of pre-seed investment.
|Pre Series A
The biggest investment, Colombian iBuyer La Haus' $62m Series C round, actually went through in 2022 but wasn't announced until this year.
Indian marketplace operator NoBroker, founded in 2014, was the only Series E fundraiser at $5M.
iBuyers and marketplaces took the lion's share of investments:
But the sums involved are skewed strongly in favour of iBuyers:
It's difficult to judge the relative strengths and weaknesses of iBuying considering the sheer weight of conflicting information surrounding the sector. On the one hand, investors are putting money where their mouths are to make some significant moves, particularly in Latin America and the United States.
But bad news is never far away.
In the US, Offerpad raised $90M of private placements in February—but recorded net losses of $80M in Q3 2022.
Meanwhile, Europe's big-name player Casavo raised $400M in Series D funding in the summer of 2022—only to lay off 30% of jobs and exit an international market within a year of the investment round.
The most notable recipient of funding is Colombian iBuyer Habi, which has gobbled up over $150M of investment this year alone.
And Keyzy ($3.8M in seed funding) is the most recent British iBuyer to get significant financial backing.
Interestingly, all the crowdfunding we've covered has taken place in Europe, with over $2.8M crowdfunded across four startups, three of which are traditional marketplaces.
Buscoresi (Spain) raised $370,000, while Tutti and Student Rents (both UK) crowdfunded $380,000 and $500,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, Spanish real estate investment proptech Masteos raised $1.6M in crowdfunding in March and then followed it up with a Series A round worth $13M shortly after. One to watch.
One business has gone public so far this year, or two if you're feeling generous.
Ohmyhome, the tech-enabled brokerage based out of Singapore, raised $14.8M when it floated on the NASDAQ in March. Shares debuted at $4 per share and have steadied at $3.90 since flotation.
The other flotation story of the year is that of REAL Messenger, a specialist listings app-cum-social media platform in the US, which announced its intention to go public within 12 months of its 2022 launch.
REAL aims to go public in a deal worth $150M via Singapore-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Nova Vision Acquisition Corp by the end of the summer.
Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures raised $13M specifically to acquire LATAM portals InfoCasas and Encunetra24.
And the sole recipient of funding in Africa (that we have heard about) was a $4.5M Pre-Series A round for Flow Living—the biggest fundraise in African proptech history.