PropertyGuru has reported a doubling of listings on all its sites to reach the 1 million mark. The Singapore-based online property portal group also says it has crossed the 30,000 mark for the number of real estate agents advertising on its websites.
PropertyGuru runs portals in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand (where it’s DDProperty.com) and Indonesia (Rumah.com).
In a statement, PropertyGuru attributes its growth to “a strategic combination of breakthrough innovation and commitment towards improving the business of agents.” The Group’s strategy seems to have paid off best in Thailand where subscriber agents doubled at the end of June 2014 compared to the same period last year. In Indonesia and Malaysia, agent numbers went up by 50%.
The group did not give growth figures for its Singapore market, where property cooling measures have contributed to a market slowdown.
PropertyGuru is working towards an IPO and Australian press last month reported that Macquarie Group and UBS had been appointed to run the float. The IPO on the ASX is expected to happen by the end of the year. (Read more on that here.)
Read PropertyGuru’s full statement about growth of its listings and agent subscribers here.
Boostable, new advertising platform for marketplaces, just received $2.6 million in Series A funding from SV Angel, Omidyar Network, Digital Garage and eight other investors. The startup provides a tool for sellers to quickly launch ad campaigns on channels such as Facebook and Google.
Boostable graduated from Y Combinator incubation earlier this year.
According to Crunchbase, the new funds will be used to expand media partnerships and new advertiser channels.
Etsy has enabled offline credit card payments by offering a free mobile credit card reader to its U.S. merchants. Now these creative crafts people will be able to set up a booth at a local flea market, or have their own neighborhood storefront location, and take payments by way of their smartphone and the reader. For Etsy it adds a 2.7 percent revenue share for offline transactions to its online rev-share business model.
Not every U.S.-based Etsy merchant will be able to use the reader, however. Only those who have integrated online and mobile -app payments by way of Ety’s Direct Checkout credit and debit card payment processing system will be eligible for the new reader.
“We’ve worked hard at Etsy to develop a leading online marketplace for buying and selling unique goods,” Etsy blogged. “However, 90 percent of all retail purchases are still made offline. We know that many of our sellers sell in channels other than their online Etsy shop. In fact, 35 percent of Etsy sellers sell at craft fairs.”
Clearly, with that portion of merchant sales made offline, the adoption of this new tool has the potential of a great boost to Etsy’s bottom line. The Etsy blog has more.
Directory portal Yelp just keeps on evolving from review-only to sales facilitator for local businesses – and that shows in its bottom line, with another quarter whose net income ($3.6 million) compared positively to a net loss this same time last year.
As of the third quarter of 2014, Yelp revenue leaped 67 percent year-over-year, its 67 million reviews indicated a 41 percent YOY growth, and monthly unique visitors grew 19 percent to 139 million, with 73 million of those mobile. (Yelp executives noted, as have several other marketplace platform executives, that mobile users showed themselves to be more active, engaged participants on the site.) Active local businesses grew 51 percent YOY, to more than 86,000.
The active business number is especially impressive because
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The revenue of Alma Media’s division Digital Consumer Services, which houses the company’s classifieds business*, increased by 10.1 percent in Q3 of FY2014 from Q3 in FY2013.
In Q3 of FY2014 revenue of the Digital Consumer Services division amounted to €13.5 million ($17 million U.S.), against €12.3 million in Q3 of FY2013. Of total revenue, the businesses in Finland contributed €5.1 million (0.8 percent less than in Q3 FY2013) and the businesses outside Finland €8.4 million (18.1 percent more than in Q3 FY2013).
The recruitment business in the division was responsible for 66.1 percent of the division’s total revenue (last year it was 64 percent). It increased by 13.7 percent compared to Q3 of FY2013.
The Digital Consumer Services segment’s operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, was €4.1 million in Q3 of FY2014 (last year it was €3.6 million). The increase in operating profit was caused mainly by a big revenue increase at Alma’s businesses outside Finland, including new Monster recruitment services from Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland acquired earlier in the year.
One of the most important events for Alma Media in Q3 of FY2014 was acquiring 15 percent of the share capital of Remonttibulevardi Oy by Alma Mediapartners, a subsidiary of Alma Media. The company develops Urakkamaailma.fi, a real estate renovation marketplace.
Also, in the Digital Consumer Services segment, the centralized digital support services for the entire Group were moved to non-allocated items outside segment reporting, Alma Media said in its interim report.
Alma Media expects its FY2014 revenue to remain at the 2013 level. The operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, for 2014 is expected to be lower than in 2013. In FY2013 revenue amounted to €300.2 million and operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, was €24.2 million.
Media group Alma Media focuses on digital services and publishing. The company’s headquarter is in Finland, but it also operates in other Nordic countries, the Baltics and Central Europe. The company is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.
* The services of the Digital Consumer Services segment operating in Finland are Etuovi.com, Vuokraovi.com, Monster.fi, Autotalli.com, MyyJaOsta.com, Telkku.com, Kotikokki.net, E-kontakti.fi and Meedio.fi. The services outside Finland are Jobs.cz, Prace.cz, Topjobs.sk, CV Online, Profesia.sk, MojPosao.net, Monster.hu, Monsterpolska.pl, Monster.cz and City24.
Technology broker Redfin just announced its purchase of Walk Score, a tool integrated into many rental sites that lets visitors gauge walkability of properties – that is, how easy it is to get from home to important places like store, restaurant and coffee shop.
It’s the first acquisition for Redfin.
“Now together, we can realize a key component of Redfin’s strategy, to get local, which means putting everything we know about a neighborhood, and everything we’ve done there, into our website and mobile tools, so we become a go-to destination for people exploring a move,” Redfin blogged. “We’re going to continue to invest in Walk Score and its partner network. As part of the announcement, we’re making Walk Score data more accessible to other sites, supporting 5,000 Walk Score requests per site per day, free of charge. Previously, free access had been limited to 100 data requests per day. Anyone with a website can include this data for free in just a few minutes .”
Walk Score CEO Josh Herst will serve as a strategic advisor throughout the integration. Walk Score Chief Technology Officer Matt Lerner will join Redfin as Vice President of Local Engineering. All other current Walk Score employees will join the Redfin team at Redfin’s Seattle headquarters.
The Redfin blog has more.
Here are two innovative recruitment startups with emulatable features.
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Edmunds.com just introduced a series of commercials and YouTube videos about haggling auto dealers that many dealers found insulting. What Edmunds thought was a humorous marketing of its Price Promise no-haggle car-buy system some dealers called an insulting re-enactment of outdated stereotypes, according to AdAge. Dealers said the ads could end or their relationship with Edmunds would. The “Haggling is Absurd” ad campaign ended abruptly today, with a statement by Edmunds.com president Seth Berkowitz.
“Our digital videos illustrating the ‘Absurdity of Haggling’ missed the mark,” Berkowitz said. ” Some of our partners were deeply insulted, expressing that our attempt at humor reinforced outdated stereotypes. That was obviously never our intent. It has created a distraction from our business of helping to make car shopping easier. We are terminating the videos and getting back to working with our dealer partners to improve the car buying process for car shoppers around the country.”
Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com, and the automotive giant’s first employee, is leaving the company in March. Another one of its first executives, Bill Swislow, is saying goodbye as well.
“Mitch will continue on in advisory role until March 1, as Alex Vetter and Dan Jauernig transition into their new positions,” a company representative told us by email. ” Bill Swislow, who has been with the company since its start in 1997, will be leaving Cars.com this December.”
Here’s the announcement:
Mitch Golub Decides to Step Down as President of Cars.com
After 18 years at the helm, “It’s the right time to move on.”
CHICAGO – Cars.com president Mitch Golub today announced his decision to step down from his position after nearly two decades leading the company. Dan Jauernig, chief executive officer of Cars.com, will also assume the role of president. Jauernig is a 14 ½-year veteran of Classified Ventures, LLC., the former ownership company of Cars.com. Golub will stay on with the company to help transition through March 1, 2015.
Alex Vetter, a long-respected industry leader and currently the company’s senior vice president, will now take on the new and expanded role of executive vice president and chief operating officer. Vetter has helped steer the company’s growth strategy from concept into a multi-faceted sales and distribution model that spans all aspects of Internet marketing, including local, mobile and social media. Over the years he has operated in nearly every capacity at Cars.com, including product development, customer service, training, operations and currently oversees all revenue-generating activities.
A highly respected member of the automotive community, Golub has been with Cars.com since its inception in 1997. As the first employee and founding executive, he has played a pivotal role in the rapid growth of the company. What began as a small start-up with 21 employees, 50,000 vehicle listings and fewer than 1,000 dealer customers in its first year, has grown to a 1,300+ employee company with more than 4 million vehicle listings serving 20,000 dealers across the country and every U.S. automaker. On October 1, Cars.com was sold to Gannett Co., Inc. for $2.5 billion. During Golub’s tenure, he was responsible for the development of Cars.com’s strategic direction, and ensuring the company’s sales, finance, marketing, product development, media and business development areas were all closely aligned with the company’s vision and positioned for sustainable growth.
“Working at Cars.com for the past 18 years has been an incredible journey,” said Golub. “I’ve witnessed the maturation of not only our company but the automotive digital space as a whole. It has been the most rewarding experience of my career, but now is the right time for me to move on. As the leader of Cars.com, my job was to not only help build the business but to ensure the company would flourish long after I left. I am confident that with new owners, the terrific workforce we have and with Dan Jauernig and Alex Vetter at the helm, Cars.com will prosper for many, many years to come.”
Jauernig added, “I’ve worked with Mitch for over a decade, and I want to thank him for his leadership and the extensive contributions he’s made to Cars.com. He will be deeply missed and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. Looking forward, we are excited about what’s ahead for this industry and our business.”
Launched in 1998, Cars.com is a leading independent research site for car shoppers with approximately 30 million visits per month. The Chicago-based company provides shoppers with credible and easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts. Leveraging its growing audience, Cars.com informs digital marketing strategies through consumer insights and innovative products, helping automotive dealers and manufacturers more effectively reach in-market car shoppers. Cars.com is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).
Helpling, Rocket Internet’s online platform for booking local cleaners, expanded its operations to Brazil, Italy and Spain, the company announced.
The location-based service, which is headquartered in Berlin, will initially be available in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and several Italian cities. In Sao Paulo, Madrid and Milan Helpling opened offices for cleaner recruitment, and business and marketing services. The local teams are also working to bring the service to more cities within each country as soon as possible.
Benedikt Franke, Helpling co-founder, stated: ‘‘We are excited about expanding to Southern Europe and to South America. In the past month we have rapidly increased our availability in Europe. We launched our service in more than 150 cities and our local partners have already cleaned tens of thousands of flats. Now we are going across the Atlantic to Brazil, which means that we have truly become a global player.”
Until now Helpling only operated in five countries in Europe, namely Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria and Sweden.
We’ve written several stories on Helpling to date. Here they are in chronological order:
And the niche job sites keep coming… (this is behind our paywall)