Japanese Portal Remains Sluggish for Lifull As Overseas Business Rebounds in Q1

February 9, 2022
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Japanese portal and aggregator operator Lifull has reported its results for the three month period ended December 31st 2021. Highlights of the company's Q1 of Japanese FY22 include:

  • Revenue up 2.9% year on year
  • Overseas segment revenue up 24% year on year
  • Acquisition of the South American chain of real estate portals, Properati from OLX Group

Lifull runs a property portal in Japan (Lifull Homes) with several adjacent businesses including everything from a home moving aggregator to old age nursing care to flower delivery. As well as its domestic operations Lifull also runs the international aggregators Trovit, Mitula, Nuroa and Nestoria (collectively known as Lifull Connect) as well as several property portals across Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Over the three months, the company saw a surge in performance of its 'Overseas' segment whilst its domestic 'Home's' segment remained sluggish due to a lacklustre new developments market in Japan and what the company referred to as "adjustments for changes in the pricing scheme".

Domestically, Lifull continues to pour investment into its domestic portal which it is looking to transform with increased features and products. One of these features highlighted in a company presentation accompanying today's results are 'nice to have' searches which allow portal users a more flexible search and has reportedly led to growth in engagement metrics.

Lifull is also increasing its marketing spend (up 14% year on year) as well as service development (+17%) and recruiting (+13%) costs as it looks to invest in its future.

In terms of the 'Overseas' segment, Lifull announced the acquisition of Properati from OLX at the beginning of the year and is already integrating the 100+ employees into its existing portal operations. Properati reported revenue of $3.6 million for FY20 and is expected to produce synergies with Lifull's existing portals in the region as well as its aggregators Trovit, Mitula and Nuroa which are also strong in Latin America especially as there is only a 6% overlap between paying clients in Lifull's pre-existing portals and Properati.

February 9, 2022
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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