News Roundup: 58.com Vs Fraud, $12.5M in Funding for Lhoopa, LankaPropertyWeb adds AI Services

May 2, 2024
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At the same time as the financial season rolls around, the news cycle tends to respond in the opposite direction. That is, there's not much around!

This week we have pooled together the news stories that would usually sit in their own respective roundups, just to make things easier for readers, starting with...

 

Product Update: 58.com cracks down on fraudulent activity

Chinese classifieds giant 58.com has stepped up its activity against fraudulent ads amid an ongoing campaign by authorities to ensure classifieds across multiple Chinese marketplaces remain compliant according to a new-look verification system.

In a news report published by Chinese publication 36Kr, 58.com says it banned 25,000 illegal accounts and 270,000 illegal posts on its portal in the first three months of 2024.

58.com went on to say that it:

"...intercepted risk information an average of 2.23 million times a day and provided risk warning services to 456,000 users. 715,000 job seekers were warned of being easily deceived, and the complaint reporting rate dropped by 41.9% month-on-month." Translated from Chinese]

The directive to crack down on fraudulent activity was also circulated to other real estate marketplaces including Anjia.com, Anjuke.com, E-House.com, Fang.com, and Zhugefang.com.

Meanwhile, marketplace giant Beike was listed as one of the compliant businesses as of 1 April 2024.

 

Product Update: LankaPropertyWeb launches an AI-powered social media promotion tool

LankPropertyWeb, Sri Lanka's market-leading real estate portal, has added a suite of AI-powered tools for marketing listings.

The first is the Social Media Promo Add-On Package, which allows advertisers to instantly promote listings on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. The tool uses AI to generate videos and slideshows of uploaded images and also adds soundtracks and personalised captions and hashtags—in seconds.

The second addition is a machine-learning image recognition tool that detects spam; adds labels to rooms; makes visual enhancements such as improving lighting for darker images; and also deduplication for repeat images.

 

Funding: Philippines-based PropTech Lhoopa raises $12.5M

Lhoopa has raised $12.5 million from investors including NataRock Partners, Patamar Capital and Wavemaker Partners.

Lhoopa is a platform dedicated to building affordable housing in the Philippines. The firm identifies the best neighbourhoods in which to build developments and also collaborates with local contractors and realtors to build, renovate and sell newbuild units.

Lhoopa also secured a loan worth up to $20 million from the Asian Development Bank in March this year.

Marc-Olivier Caillot, founder and CEO at Lhoopa, said:

"With [the loan facility], we will be able to provide thousands more affordable homes to Filipino families.

"Having such an esteemed institution by our side puts us on a global stage and will allow us to apply our technological solutions on a larger scale, thereby impacting more lives in the process."

 

Funding: home insurance provider Urban Jungle raises £11.2m

Urban Jungle has raised £11.2m in funding from investors including Sony Innovation Fund.

The London-based startup, founded in 2017, prides itself on 'fair' home insurance that is sustainable for customers.

Urban Jungle is fully regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and sells insurance products underwritten by 'household name' insurers. The firm uses technology to craft unique quotes for users and leverages AI and machine learning to catch fraud.

Jimmy Williams, cofounder and CEO at Urban Jungle, said:

"Our technology means we can screen out fraudsters and help genuine customers get a much better deal, which is particularly important in the current economy.”

"This funding is a testament to the hard work of the team and the continual progress we’ve made as a company to make insurance simple, quick and affordable."

Antonio Avitabile, Managing Director for EMEA at Sony Ventures, said:

"We are excited to support Urban Jungle, whose commitment to redefining the insurance landscape by making insurance accessible and affordable to a wider population aligns with our vision for forward-thinking investments that benefit society."

May 2, 2024
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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