Despite its population, most Southern Asian property portals are still not profitable. The lack of market development, the localised nature of property search and a reliance on the primary market have meant that property portal businesses have traditionally been playing the long game of achieving scale and waiting for profitability.
That has begun to change in recent years and there have been some interesting developments in the region recently. This article will go into the main players in each market, what they've been doing in 2021 and who their competitors are.
Market Leader - Zameen.com: The property portal jointly owned by EMPG and Frontier Digital Ventures has a big lead over its rivals in Pakistan. Not only does Zameen have a sizeable traffic advantage over its rivals according to Similarweb, but it has also become profitable in recent years and is on course for an even better 2021, posting half-yearly revenues of over $27 million.
Market Leader - MagicBricks.com
When we did originally did this exercise last year, we found that MagicBricks' eternal rival 99acres was just about out in front in terms of traffic. Not so in 2021 according to Similarweb.
In fact, it seems that not only has Info Edge-owned 99acres lost the top spot in the traffic rankings, but it has slipped down to 3rd place behind REA India-owned Housing.com as well.
While it's true to say that the portal's bottom line took a big hit with COVID and has yeat to recover, it was hardly raking in the profits beforehand despite averaging over a million listings.
Market Leader - Basobaas.com
Founded by local entrepreneur Binit Sharma in 2014 the market leader in Nepal counts on foreign investment and expertise from Australia-based Emerging Classifieds Group. Basobaas.com is the only Nepalese property vertical site to have enough traffic for Similarweb to register (43k visits in September).
Market Leader - LankaPropertyWeb.com
In Sri Lanka, the market leader is another portal backed by a specialist portal investment firm, Frontier Digital ventures. Since buying out the local Lamudi brand property vertical in 2019, LankaPropertyWeb hasn't looked back.
The site reportedly enjoyed a traffic resurgence in February 2021 after suffering through the worst of the pandemic and today has some 260,000 monthly visits according to Similarweb.
Market Leader - bproperty.com
Another from the EMPG stable of property portals, bproperty is headed up by Mark Nosworthy and counts as an investor Gilles Blanchard, Co-Founder of French portal SeLoger.com.
According to Similarweb property has around 270,000 monthly visits. Its main rivals in the market are horizontal marketplace players such as OLX and Bikroy who do not specialise in property.