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News Corp raises stake in online property broker PropTiger to 30%

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Global media giant News Corp has raised its stake in Elara Technologies Pte Ltd (Elara), the Singapore-based parent of digital real estate marketing platform PropTiger.com, to 30 per cent for an undisclosed amount.

“We strongly believe the combination of PropTiger.com and Makaan.com is best poised to be the dominant digital real-estate platform in India for years to come,” said Raju Narisetti, senior vice president (strategy) at News Corp, who also chairs Elara’s board.

Last year, News Corp had acquired a 25 per cent stake in the company for $30 million.

“While India’s real estate sector continues to work its way through challenging macro conditions, we remain very optimistic, not only about India’s long-term potential, but also about the management team of PropTiger in its ability to execute, rationally and deliberately,” added Narisetti.

In April, PropTiger had bought property search portal Makaan.com, for an undisclosed amount. This was a second acquisition by PropTiger in a single month after it bought digital design startup Out of Box Interaction (OoBI).

“News Corp’s increased stake in PropTiger is a validation of the company’s strategy to win a growing share of the digital real estate market in India through our unique service offerings and an end-user experience that is second to none,” Dhruv Agarwala, co-founder of PropTiger.com told Techcircle.in.

“News Corp has reaffirmed the faith in our management team, the way we are going about building the business and the strategy that we have adopted. Clearly the path we are taking has been in line with the expectations News Corp has with us,” Agarwala said.

The company plans to rope in over 250 more employees in six months. It currently has 750 employees.

PropTiger has so far raised funding worth $44 million. It had earlier raised $7 million in two rounds of funding from SoftBank, Horizon Ventures, SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and others. SoftBank had invested through SoftBank China & India Holdings, which manages Bodhi Investments LLC, and focuses on early stage and selected pre-IPO opportunities in China, India and Southeast Asia.

Last month, PropTiger co-founder Prashan Agarwal quit to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities. The company strengthened its senior management team with three additions. It roped in Sunil Mishra as chief business officer, Rohit Hasteer as chief human resource officer and Neeraj Chaturvedi as chief marketing officer.

PropTiger was founded in 2011 by Harvard Business School alumni Agarwala and Kartik Varma along with Agarwal.

PropTiger competes with the likes of MagicBricks, Housing, CommonFloor and 99acres.

In March, News Corp acquired VCCircle Network, which operates this news website.

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