The specialist Thai portal-come-aggregator Hipflat has been acquired by Dot Property for an undisclosed amount. The site which boasts more than 200,000 listings in the Kingdom as well as English, Thai and Russian versions of its platform will become the 13th site to join Dot Property’s network according to today’s press release. Speaking about the deal, Dot Property General Manager James Claassen said:
“Hipflat is a valuable addition to the Dot Property network as we look to build upon Southeast Asia’s most robust real estate marketplace. Our data shows there isn’t a lot of overlap between our audience in Thailand and what Hipflat is doing here. Because of this, we strongly believe there is significant room for both to continue growing concurrently.”
Launched in 2013 by Russian software specialist Denis Nemtsev, the company Dot Property is acquiring is ostensibly a property portal but under the hood Hipflat uses proprietary data mining and natural language processing techniques to aggregate and standardise listings from multiple unstructured sources.
It is this technology that may have sparked the interest of Lifull-owned Dot Property. Hipflat is known for its innovation in using technology to weed through listings and as the operator of the world’s largest aggregator of real estate listings, Lifull Connect, there may be some synergies that come about through the deal aside from the obvious in-market ones. Today’s announcement is not the first time a Japanese company has been attracted to Hipflat’s technology. Back in 2017, the Japanese price comparison company Aucfan invested in the company having been attracted by Hipflat’s technology.
Apart from any technological benefits, the upside for agent and developer customers of the two sites is what the two companies are focusing on in public with Nemtsev saying: “The real winners here are Hipflat clients and users who will now enjoy improved support and a better overall experience”
For its part, Dot Property is taking advantage of the deal to try to win over more customers by offering discounts for any agent or developer wishing to sign up to both Hipflat and Dot Property for a limited time. According to today’s press release, the company remains sanguine on the long-term prospects for the Thai market having been encouraged by 2019’s figures of 71% traffic growth and 63% lead growth.
The deal sees further consolidation of the Thai real estate market with popular marketplace site Kaidee having been acquired by EMPG prior to the onset of the pandemic back in February. With both PropertyGuru, through its DDProperty title, as well as News Corp backed iProperty operating in the country, the competition in Thailand’s rapidly developing property market is set to heat up.