Lifull Sees Contrasting Domestic and Overseas Performance in FY23 as Portals Thrive and Aggregators Dive

November 14, 2023
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The Japanese real estate portal and aggregator operator Lifull saw its yearly revenue remain relatively flat in for its fiscal year 2023 as its Overseas segment underperformed. Highlights of the company's report for its activities include:

  • Total revenue for the year stood at ¥36.4 billion, up 1.9% year-on-year.
  • Net profit was ¥1 billion, down 12.6% year-on-year.
  • Profitability of its domestic portal operations increased by 657% with the segment generating income of ¥2.6 billion.

Lifull has one of the most diverse portfolios of any real estate portal operator in the world. Domestically it runs the portal as well as several adjacent businesses including senior care, a search engine for storage solutions and an investment company.

Lifull's Overseas segment includes aggregators Mitula, Trovit and Nestoria and real estate verticals dotproperty, Hipflat, LaEncontré and Properati. The company also recently added Thai end-to-end operator FazWaz and the Mexican portal Lamudi to its long list of overseas portal assets.

The domestic HOME'S segment saw a 2.7% uptick in revenue and a notable increase in profitability over the financial year. Lifull's domestic portal business saw a profit of ¥2.6 billion for FY23 largely thanks to cost-saving measures taken over the previous fiscal year.

An investor presentation laid out plans for Lifull HOME'S to start an in-house generative AI team "to quickly start new initiatives". The company has already launched a support chatbot and has plans to develop more AI solutions as well as building a real estate investment platform in Japan which plans to make use of NFTs.

Lifull's Overseas segment saw revenue grow by 17% year-on-year despite the increasing difficulty of selling its aggregation services and the declining returns from third-party advertising.

Lifull Overseas Quarterly Revenue

The Overseas segment benefitted from the acquisitions of the Thailand-based brokerage and discovery site FazWaz as well as the Mexican real estate vertical Lamudi during the year. According to a company presentation, FazWaz ended the year well above its original revenue forecasts.

The company's strategy for its Overseas segment continues to be a move towards the transaction by using its top-of-funnel aggregator assets to channel leads towards its more transactional platforms such as FazWaz. Lifull is confident in its tactics and is ambitiously targeting 85% revenue growth for FazWaz in 2024 while its real estate portals (Lamudi MX and Properati) are expected to deliver a 37% revenue boost.

Overall revenue for FY24 is expected to increase by 1.9% again (¥37 billion) with operating profit forecast at ¥3 billion.

November 14, 2023
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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