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New niche-y property site WhizzSearch Home emerges in France

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Real estate | Comments Off

Launched in 2014, WhizzSearch Home has a concept of helping companies find housing for their employees based on pre-specified criteria, ImmoMatin reports.

wizz Director Eric Legrain said it took two years to develop the site prior to launch.

The site with 600,000 listings on average is free to real estate agents that can upload unlimited number of ads in an automatic fashion. The site has algorithm in place that ranks ads based on user requests. The listings are not available to general public. The geolocalization function of the site allows users to evaluate property and all the services in the vicinity.

The ads included are for buy and rent, and also contain offers from private individuals, i.e. subsidized or furnished housing.

Auction.com acquires Channel, LLC

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Articles, Marketplace, Real estate | Comments Off

Auction.com is expanding its online database of properties for sale, and to help that along has acquired a real estate technology firm, Channel LLC.

Here’s the announcement:

Auction.com Acquires Real Estate Technology Solutions Provider Channel, LLC 

Transaction enables Auction.com to accelerate its expansion into move-in ready real estate, and offer a consumer and broker-friendly online real estate platform 
IRVINE AND SILICON VALLEY, Calif. – March 3, 2015 Auction.com, LLC, the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace, today announced its cash and stock acquisition of Channel, LLC, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based real estate technology solutions provider that offers a leading-edge real estate transaction platform with a proven ability to engage residential brokers and consumers.Integration of Channel’s robust transaction platform will allow Auction.com to accelerate the expansion of its online marketplace to begin selling move-in ready homes by combining the best of broker-led deals with the transparency and massive reach of the online auction process.“Channel’s domain expertise and proven experience in developing flexible, robust software that provides a reliable foundation for companies to build great products makes the company a welcome addition to the Auction.com family,” said Auction.com CEO and Co-Founder Jeff Frieden. “As we work toward growing our residential business, the ability to enrich our existing technology with a platform developed specifically to appeal to consumer buyers, sellers, and their brokers align with our mission – to make transactions easier and more transparent in a trusted online environment.”Upon the closing of the transaction, Channel will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Auction.com, with Channel’s staff becoming employees of the company. Channel will retain its current office space in Newport Beach, where Channel Founder and CEO John Nicholas will continue to oversee its operations.“I’m delighted to join forces with Auction.com,” said Nicholas. “We share a common vision – making it easier for everyone to buy and sell properties online – and are thrilled to be part of a company that is the undisputed leader in online real estate sales.”

About Channel, LLC
Since 2005, Channel has focused on developing high quality software products and has established a strong reputation in the marketplace. Channel’s platform enables real estate investment firms, financial institutions, asset management companies, and other service providers to efficiently manage and liquidate their real estate assets by automating and standardizing the workflow and tasking for all team members within the management and disposition life cycle.About Auction.com:
Auction.com, LLC, is the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace. Founded in 2007, the company has sold over $29 billion in residential and commercial real estate assets. Auction.com has over 900 employees and headquarters in Irvine and Silicon Valley, California as well as offices in Austin and Plano, Texas, Atlanta, Denver, New York and Miami. Visit Auction.com for more information.

 

Fast-growing Modacruz gets another capital injection

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Articles | Comments Off

Modacruz.com, the first used, luxury-clothing site in Turkey, launched one year ago, and soon revealed the potential of this vertical to local consumers, investors and entrepreneurs. Three entrepreneurs have since launched competing sites, but these sites have yet to match the popularity of Modacruz.com. modacruz1

After just five months Modacruz.com had 30,000 registered members. In July the site’s impressive growth rate drew the attention of Aslanoba Capital, an important angel investor in Turkey, which injected an unknown amount of money.

In August Modacruz.com had 50,000 members. A short while later, in October last year, Modacruz.com launched its iOS and Android apps. Shortly before its first birthday it reached 100,000 members. That’s also when it received its second capital injection from Aslanoba Capital, Nevzat Aydın (a co-founder of Yemeksepeti.com), Serkan Borançılı and Burak Divanlıoğlu (co-founders of Gittigidiyor.com).aslanoba-capital-logo2

According to Cankut Durgun, CEO of Aslanoba Capital, since first investing in Modacruz.com in July, the revenue of Modacruz.com has grown by between 50 percent and 125 percent from month to month.

In February Modacruz.com counted eleven million page views, 100,000 members and nine million items listed.

Trinity Mirror reports small drop in classifieds revenue

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Articles, Financial results, United Kingdom | Comments Off

At Trinity Mirror revenue from digital classifieds was slightly down in FY2014. The U.K. media group released its annual results earlier this week.

A four percent fall year-on-year was recorded by the general publishing division, which houses national jobs site Fish4Jobs (with all its sub-sites) since FY2014. And the specialist digital division, which houses many niche job sites (here and here and here), including GaaPWeb (finance and accountancy), SecsintheCity (secretarial posts), TotallyLegal (law jobs), TheCareerEngineer (for engineers) and JobsFinancial (for the financial sector), recorded a 0.2-percent drop in revenue.

The move of Fish4Jobs to a new division makes comparisons difficult.

Individual niches were not broken out in the annual results, but digital recruitment was credited with 13 percent revenue growth y-on-y. It seems, therefore, the overall drop in revenue came from the autos and real estate verticals, which Trinity Mirror said, “remain challenging”, given the “dominant competitors”.

The same is true of general digital classifieds, where Trinity Mirror said it is taking steps to improve performance, namely through a relaunched BuySell section (c-to-c ads) in its regional papers, a new platform for its local What’s On guides, and improved BMD services (births, marriages and death notices).

Overall revenue for 2014 was £636.3 million ($976 million U.S.) — a decline of four percent, compared to a decline of six percent in 2013. However, lower costs led to a one-percent rise in pre-tax profits to £102 million ($156 million U.S.). The company also said it had paid off nearly all its remaining debt.

Hence shareholders will be asked to approve a 3p-per-share dividend at the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 7. It’s the first dividend declared by the company since 2008.

Read the release on the financial results for FY2014 here.

At last: Rocket Internet moves into jobs vertical

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Articles, Recruitment | Comments Off

People who have wondered why the launch-happy, listed incubator Rocket Internet has never launched a player in the revenue-strong vertical for jobs (outside Myanmar, that is) may now tick that box as well.

Rocket Internet launched a jobs platform called Everjobs in Sri Lanka (Everjobs.lk) today, and simultaneously promised Everjobs will soon be available in more countries in Asia and Africa. We love Rocket Internet for the way it makes the classifieds business look easy!

Ronald Schuurs (left) and Theo Poursanidis saw a gap

Ronald Schuurs (left) and Theo Poursanidis see an “immense opportunity” in Asia and Africa.

For those out there who find it a slightly more difficult endeavor, let the Rocket Internet media statement (here) motivate you.

This is an excerpt: “Everjobs is a job portal currently operating in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Launched in March 2015 and led by co-founders Theo Poursanidis and Ronald Schuurs (photo), Everjobs aims to become the leading job portal in fast growing economies finding the right match for both, employers and candidates.

“The company is backed by Rocket Internet, as well as the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) and the Africa Internet Group (AIG).”

Christo Volschenk

Glassdoor transforming, headed to IPO

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Articles, Recruitment | Comments Off

Top-of-mind employee review site Glassdoor offers recruiting and job-search tools that go well beyond its original ratings service.  The site now aggregates company career sites and applicant tracking system (ATS) job listings, takes job post feeds from ZipRecruiter and other listing sites, and offers direct job posting.

Glassdoor is now preparing for an initial public offering (IPO.)

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Belgium’s Corelio Group reports strong results

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Articles, Financial results | Comments Off

Corelio Group, shareholder of Het Mediahuis, reported net profit of €1.8 million ($2.1 million U.S.) for FY2014 – its year of transition.

Corelio Group owns Belgium’s leading classified sites, including auto site Vroom.be, real estate site Zimmo.be, jobs site Jobat.be and dating site WeMatch (part of newspaper Nieuwsblad.be; not standalone). These sites have been part of Het Mediahuis Group since 2013, when Corelio and Concentra Media Group united their digital assets.

The Group finished FY2013 in the red, due to restructuring costs with a loss of €42.3 million ($47 million U.S.).

Corelio expects to see a 60-percent increase in gross profit in 2015 on the growth of Het Mediahuis titles, thanks to a reorganization and thanks to the acquisition of NRC Netherlands (we reported about it here).

Dutch Funda under court scrutiny over abuse of market position

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Litigation, Real estate | Comments Off

The dominant Dutch property portal Funda.nl is under the court review over charging higher rates for listings by broker associations other than its owner NVM (Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars).

The court in Amsterdam is about to start an investigation of the way Funda handles its market position (article available here in Dutch).

This comes as a new episode in the proceedings that lasted two and a half yeindex5ars following VBO Makelaars lawsuit that it filed against NVM.

VBO brokers pay more than NVM members to have their property offerings listed on the site. According to Dutch newspaper NRC, they pay €160 per property per year instead of a one-time €25 fee.

The listings by VBO brokers appear much lower in search results than NVM listings even if they fit better users’ search parameters. Their listings may not be added to “wish list” or “top house” category. Due to this VBO claims Funda abuses its market position.

Funda’s response is that Funda site is owned by NVM and only lets others in on the basis of good will. Funda spokesperson drew a parallel between Funda and the Dutch supermarket Albert Hijn, which does not place products from Jumbo, other large supermarket chain, on its shelves.

According to NRC, these court proceedings are about a battle between the two leading associations of brokers — NVM and VBO. The current real estate field is dominated by NVM with 3,900 members followed by VBO Makelaars with 1,000 members and Vastgoed Pro with 800 members, according to NRC.

In 2012 the Dutch competition authority ACM obligated the NVM to offer competitor organizations “transparent access on reasonable terms” at Funda. Despite this ruling by ACM, house seekers still have to do a long search before rival organizations’ offerings come up, claim rival organizations (full article available here in Dutch). As a result the court is investigating the issue further.

Funda had recently to pay a fine for its of abuse of market position in the area of real estate software (we wrote about it here).

Funda is the strongest player on the Dutch online property market. It has around 22 million total visits per month, and occupies 60 percent of Dutch online housing market, according to NRC.

 

Dubizzle.com parts company with its CEO and other staff

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Articles, Insiders, Marketplace, Middle East | Comments Off

There has been a major shake-up at Dubizzle.com in the UAE.

According to ArabianBusiness.com, the Naspers-owned general classifieds marketplace Dubizzle parted ways with its CEO Arto Joensuu, who had been in charge since 2013, and other senior managers, in a move to make the business less UAE-centered. The platform is available in eleven countries in the Middle East. The most recent country to be added to the line-up was Saudi-Arabia in November last year (our report here).

No official statement has been published yet. We’ll follow-up once we know more.

Fixed ops next big U.S. auto focus

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Articles, Automotive, Marketplace, Mobile, Strategy | Comments Off

U.S. auto dealers, for whom fixed operations represent 43 percent of their total revenue, devote a mere 3 percent of their online marketing to this crucial part of their bottom line.

Now, two movements threaten to dilute dealer service-department revenue:

  • Online (long-distance) auto sales
  • Cars on the road longer, and long after their warranties have expired

Automotive publishers have a huge opportunity to turn this around for their dealer advertisers.

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