Two separate announcements indicate that the worlds of commercial real estate (CRE) and crowdfunding are coming to the fore in the U.S.
Startup Selequity just announced the launch of its CRE crowdfunding services at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in New York City. Technology developed by Selequity streamlines the once timely and cumbersome evaluation and investment process for both property owners and investors. The platform helps owners provide the necessary documentation and information to accredited investors to make smart, educated investment choices.
Additionally, sponsors and investors using the Selequity site have access to an individualized communications platform making it easier to track and manage ongoing investments.
Additionally, Money360, Inc., a peer-to-peer (p-to-p) real estate lending marketplace, has closed a $2 million commercial real estate loan crowdfunded by accredited investors. Money360 is on track to fund $25 million in p-to-p real estate loans before the end of the year. Crowdfund Insider has more details.
Ringier’s PigiaMe, a leading general classifieds site in Kenya, today officially launched its retail section with online shops.
The retail section (here) already consists of 300 businesses, which have all registered since the soft launch of the retail section late last year.
The firm said the retail section enables anyone selling goods or services to create his very own online shop on PigiaMe, a growing marketplace with more than 140,000 monthly users.
In a statement to AIM Group, PigiaMe’s head of marketing Cedric Nzomo said: “We are giving business people the opportunity to create their digital presences and reach hundreds of thousands of new customers for free. Most classifieds allow their users to only list single objects. Now business people can list their company name, logo and business profile as well as their products and their physical location (for free).”
Its competitor has long emphasized the mass market, but PigiaMe aims to use its retail section as a marketing tool offering vital insights to business.
“Businesses can analyze their portfolios and customer behavior to see how many people looked at their profiles and goods and got in touch with them. They can also see which of their goods received the most views, to know which products the business should stock up on,” Nzomo added.
This move to include small and medium enterprises on PigiaMe is a further improvement of the quality and relevance of listings on the platform.
The retail section is PigiaMe’s latest offering. It stands next to the general classifieds section and the bi-monthly offline magazine. All three services offer buyers and sellers the best selection of well-priced goods, and the best visibility for businesses in Kenya, the company said.
Several classifieds firms aim to go the b-to-c way, but only after they’ve built their c-to-c platforms. PigiaMe is moving fast on this and might be the first to monetize. Especially after building a name for itself as the safer marketplace in the country and where volumes move.
In Europe holiday accommodation booking sites have been getting lots of attention – and money – of late. Most “respectable” real estate sites either have their own holiday accommodation brand, or a holiday accommodation section on their sites. Competition for listings of holiday accommodation is tough.
That’s why the following big-data idea may be interesting as a service to property advertisers and a “sweetener” in the competition for listings.
The startup helps people with properties listed on Airbnb around the world to finetune their pricing policies based on the actual demand for – and prices of – similar properties.
More specifically, it analyzes bookings on Airbnb in real-time and builds real-time charts comparing the demand today with demand on the same day a year ago. It compares bookings of your listing with bookings for all similar-listings on Airbnb. (Demand is always expressed as a percentage of total similar-listing bookings on Airbnb worldwide.)
And a chart compares your prices (day to day over a preselected period) with the average prices charged by all similar-listings over the same period. You see their average price for listings booked, and their average price for listings unbooked on a given day.
So, you know when you were undercharging and/or overpricing compared to the universe of similar-listings.
Other market data include:
+ Where are apartments in highest demand, and which cities, areas and streets are rising in popularity.
+ How are demand and supply behaving in your city – from day to day. Never miss any seasonal, or event-based changes.
+ How many bookings are actually made every day.
+ Airbucks.io analyzes who get’s bookings and at which prices, and tells you what is possible for your listings.
The Airbucks.io service won’t be free. Airbnb clients will have to buy a premium membership. The price must still be determined. In the meantime you can take a free 14-day trial.
A big-data service worth copying by holiday accommodation sites? Offered as a service to clients, or as a new source of income? Your call.
Kaare Danielsen (photo), majority-owner, founder and CEO of Danish job site Jobindex, will also take over as CEO of the subsidiaries StepStone.dk and IT-jobbank.dk – two businesses acquired by Jobindex about 14 months ago.
Bettina Ravn was CEO of Stepstone and IT-jobbank, and will vacate both positions. No reason or explanation was given for her departure. She has been CEO of IT-jobbank since 2007 and of StepStone Denmark since 2011.
According to the note to investors, Ravn has been a key person in migrating all IT systems into the Jobindex platform. Danielsen will now put more focus on coordinating and finding synergies between the three existing job data bases in the Jobindex group.
Jakob Lunøe will continue to work as sales director for both StepStone Denmark and IT-jobbank.dk
In Europe the jobs vertical is as busy as ever. Activity is focused on marketing efforts to build brand awareness and grab marketshare, and on mobile recruiting.
Germany’s Metro Group invests in U.S. jobs site
Germany’s Metro Group, a wholesale and retail giant with an annual turnover of €63 billion ($64 billion U.S.) and operations in 30 countries, invested in CulinaryAgents.com, a U.S. jobs and networking site for the food, beverage and hospitality sectors.
Until now the site has only been active in 30 U.S. cities. But, it’ll use the money Metro Group and two other investors (RRE Ventures and Female Founders Fund) injected, to expand to Europe and Asia. The expansion will kick off later this year with sites in Italy and France.
As far as we could make out, this was Metro Group’s first investment in classifieds.
Metro Group said it invested in a jobs/network site for the food, beverage and hospitality sectors “as a service to its clients in the wholesale and retail markets”. Metro said “it wanted to assist its clients in these sectors in their ongoing struggle to find good people”.
Strangely, Germany wasn’t earmarked in the media release to get its own CulinaryAgents site. Germany has a strong tourist sector, and as Metro’s home market, it is also where the company has the bulk of its clients. If “helping the clients” was such an important motivation, one would have expected Metro to insist on a site in the German-speaking region.
It wasn’t revealed how much money each of the three investors injected, and how many shares each now holds.
The seven main brands in the Metro stable are listed in the chart above. Metro and Makro are wholesalers; Saturn, Media Markt and Redcoon are electronics stores; Real and Galeria are retail supermarket chains. Redcoon.com is a ten-year old online electronics store, operating in eight EU countries.
Kalaydo Jobs gets fresh face
After the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s anti-trust authority, approved the take-over of Kalaydo.de by Markt.Gruppe in December last year (we reported here), Kalaydo Jobs terminated its cooperation with Jobware.de earlier this year to make place for Stellenanzeigen.de, a jobs site in the stable of Markt.Gruppe.
Now Kalaydo Jobs relaunched with a fresh, modern look and a map search function. Kalaydo Jobs remains deeply integrated in the horizontal Kalaydo platform, but the other sections (auto, real estate, small ads, animals and holiday accommodation) now look decidedly stale and old-fashioned against their trendy-looking Jobs brother. One can only hope the other sections also get facelifts soon.
Xing job app now also for IPhone
On Apr. 1 we reported (here) business network Xing had launched an interesting, new job app for Android and that an IPhone version will follow shortly. It is called Jobs Marketplace and even users not registered on Xing can download and search its jobs database.
Since Apr. 22 the Xing Jobs Marketplace app is now also available for IOS (here on iTunes).
Jobware launches TV campaign
Paderborn-based job site Jobware.de turns 19 years this month (launched in 1996) and will launch a television campaign at roughly the same time. The campaign will kick off with two 30-second spots to be flighted on two stations – entertainment channel Sky and Axel Springer’s news channel N24. True to the times, the TV campaign will promote Jobware’s mobile recruiting capabilities.
Here you can watch a spot on YouTube.
Zillow and Trulia have been growing their rental listings and audience with little or no concentration on making any money from the peripheral category. Now, however, with a year-over-year 84 percent growth in multi-family advertisers – and the fact that they’re even announcing it – suggests that a concentration on building rental advertising revenue is about to begin.
Another important point is that 72 percent of the leads the Zillow Rental Network delivered to these apartment communities came by way of mobile.
Here’s the announcement:
Zillow Rental Network Surges in Past 12 Months; New Multifamily Partners Up 84% Year-Over-Year
Nearly 90 percent of the National Multifamily Housing Council 50 Largest Apartment Managers are using the Zillow Rental Network to market their properties
SEATTLE, May 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Zillow Group, which houses a portfolio of the largest and most vibrant rental, real estate and home-related brands on mobile and Web, added more multifamily partners to the Zillow® Rental Network in the past year than ever before, increasing new partnerships 84 percent year-over-year, from Q1 2014 to Q1 2015.
Many of the largest property management companies in the country are already leveraging the Zillow Rental Network as part of their marketing strategies; nearly 90 percent of the National Multifamily Housing Council 50 Largest Apartment Managers count themselves as Zillow Rental Network customers.
“The Zillow Rental Network’s customer service and overall value are fantastic – but what really drew us to them was their vision for the future,” Kevin Thompson, senior vice president of marketing of Bell Partners. “During our initial pilot, Zillow has performed above our expectations. On cost per lead basis, Zillow Rental Network beat all other internet listing services and our own website results.”
Zillow Group closed its acquisition of Trulia in February. Within a few weeks, the rentals businesses were completely integrated, with the sales team working cohesively together on behalf of multifamily partners. Now, rental shoppers who visit Trulia or Trulia’s mobile apps have access to hundreds of thousands of rental listings powered by the Zillow Rental Network.
Traffic from mobile web and Zillow’s rental applications had a hugely positive impact on multifamily partners this year. More than 72 percent of the new contacts that came to property managers in March 2015 came through Zillow’s mobile rental applications and mobile web.
“As we’ve grown in size and strength in the past year, our partners are experiencing more success with the Zillow Rental Network than ever before,” said Greg Schwartz,Zillow Group chief revenue officer. “In the past year, we’ve improved the technology and product offerings to our multifamily customers, as well as added Trulia’s 55 million monthly unique visitors1 to the Zillow Rental Network, offering our partners a significantly expanded audience through a streamlined customer service experience.”
About Zillow Group
Zillow Group (NASDAQ:Z) houses a portfolio of the largest real estate and home-related brands on the Web and mobile. The company’s brands focus on all stages of the home lifecycle: renting, buying, selling, financing and home improvement. Zillow Group is committed to empowering consumers with unparalleled data, inspiration and knowledge around homes, and connecting them with the right local professionals to help. The Zillow Group portfolio of consumer brands includes real estate and rental marketplaces Zillow®, Trulia®, StreetEasy® and HotPads®. In addition, Zillow Group works with tens of thousands of real estate agents, lenders and rental professionals, helping them maximize business opportunities and connect to millions of consumers. The company operates a number of brands for real estate, rental and mortgage professionals, including Postlets®, Mortech®, Diverse Solutions®, Market Leader®, ActiveRain® and Retsly™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.
Zillow, Postlets, Mortech, Diverse Solutions, StreetEasy, and HotPads are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Retsly is a trademark of Zillow, Inc. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, Inc. Market Leader is a registered trademark of Market Leader, Inc.
1 Source: Omniture, October 2014
Turkey got its first jobs site focused on the local finance sector roughly a year ago. It is called TheBridgeCareers.com, has offices in Istanbul and London, and aims to address the demand for qualified and specialized professionals in a growing Turkish financial market.
The site claims to have 30,000 professionals registered with profiles. Clients of TheCareerBridge include banks, investment funds and consulting firms.
TheCareerBridge was founded by a foreigner who studied in Russia and London, before moving to Turkey to work in the human resources department of an Istanbul-based company. There Lena Dmitrieva (photo) noticed the need for a site which matches jobseekers with recruiters in the local finance sector.
Dmitrieva told us it was hard to establish a company in Turkey – harder than it is in the U.K.. She added: “I believe Turkey will be the main finance center of the region in years to come, and that’s why I chose Istanbul.” TheBridgeCareers has no competition in Turkey.
Dmitrieva said she established the site alone, but now six people work on the site and more staff will be added this year. In the last 12 months about 600 ads were listed. So, it’s a small, niche site. They help jobseekers write their CVs.
TheBridgeCareers.com aims to become an important databank in the finance sector. The site includes contents about different finance areas and career advice.
One year ago Avito launched a subsidiary called Domofond Holding together with Naspers to develop a real estate site in Russia. In Q1 of FY2015 Avito made ”material investments” in TV campaigns in Moscow , St. Petersburg and the 13 largest cities in Russia to support the launch of Domofond.ru.
This was revealed in Avito’s Q1 financial report, presented by two of its owners, Swedish investment company Kinnevik and Swedish investment company Vostok Nafta late last week. Avito can afford to make these investments in Domofond, which still is in a development stage with no revenue of its own, because Avito had cash and equivalents of $152 million U.S. on March 31.
Avito itself is now a cash generator. Here is the essential numbers from the Q1 report:
• It generated revenue of RUR 1,2 billion ($20.6 million U.S.) in Q1, up 42 percent from Q1 FY2014 (RUR 852 million).
• In Q1 FY2015 the adjusted EBITDA margin came to 46.4 percent, or RUR 560 million, compared to 46.1 percent or RUR 393 million in Q1 FY2014.
• Page views added up to 26 billion (mobile views accounted for 41 percent of that number), roughly unchanged from Q1 in FY2014 (25.8 billion).
This was a very good result in the context of the Russian economic crises. One may even wonder whether classifieds are perhaps immune to economic downswings.
Here is the Kinnevik media release:
Kinnevik: Avito trading statement Q1 FY2015
Investment AB Kinnevik (publ) (“Kinnevik”) today announced that Avito AB (“Avito”) reported a trading statement for the first quarter 2015. Avito owns and operates Russia’s largest online classifieds website, Avito.ru, and reports unaudited results and key performance indicators for the first quarter 2015. During 2014 and 2015, all revenue were generated from the Avito.ru website.
Key performance indicators of the first quarter 2015:
• Revenues of RUR 1,207m1 (USD 20.6m2), grew by 42% compared with Q1 2014 (RUR 852m).
• Adjusted EBITDA margin of 46.4% or RUR 560m1 (USD 9.6m2), compared to Q1 2014 (adjusted EBITDA margin 46.1% or RUR 393m).
• Cash and cash equivalents in excess of USD 152m2 per 31 March 2015.
• Page views3 amounted to 26bln (mobile views accounted for 41%4) compared to 17bln (mobile views accounted for 27%) for the same period in the previous year.
• Monthly audience5 in March 2015 of 27.4m compared to 25.8m for the same period in the previous year.
In May 2014, Avito launched a subsidiary – Domofond Holding AB (“Domofond”) together with Korbitec Singapore PTE LTD, a subsidiary to Naspers, to jointly develop a property portal in Russia under the brand name Domofond and operate the website Domofond.ru. Domofond.ru is in a development state and is not generating revenue. During the 1st quarter 2015, Avito made material investments in Domofond. Domofond.ru launched TV-campaigns in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the 13 largest cities in Russia.
Avito provided no guidance on future performance.
Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) stepped up its marketing efforts and rolled out a brand new radio campaign. The new adverts will air across 40 Global radio stations nationally, including Capital and Heart, and will build on the success of the current ‘Smart’ radio campaign. The new ad features Phil Spencer, a popular British media personality best known as the co-presenter of the Channel 4 real estate show “Location, Location, Location”.
Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of ZPG, said: “Radio is a great medium for us, which is why we’re extending our campaign and launched a new stand-out ad using Phil Spencer. We’re committed to driving property consumers to our websites on behalf of our members, and this addition to our comprehensive national radio campaign ensures that consumers understand the benefits of using Zoopla, which ultimately benefits our members.”
In the brand war with its competitors Rightmove, and new market entrant OnTheMarket, the Zoopla marketing war chest will be a vital component in the fight for market share. According to investment bank Berenberg, Agents’ Mutual the owner of OnTheMarket, has around £8 million ($12 million U.S.) to deploy on marketing in 2015, half of which has already been spent on the advertising campaign at the time of the launch.
£8 million is similar to what Rightmove spent last year, while Zoopla has spent around £20 million, principally to boost brand awareness.
Malaysian company, IProperty Group (ASX:IPP), reported record collections (revenue actually received) of almost $7.5 million U.S. in Q1 of FY2015, when it released its annual shareholders report this week.
The company also reported positive quarterly cash flow and an excellent growth trajectory for the remainder of the year, according to the Finance News Network. Collections, which is marked when cash is actually received, in Malaysia and Hong Kong were up 46 percent from Q1 in FY2014. For Indonesia it was up by 49 percent over the previous corresponding period.
Earlier this month IProperty Group completed the acquisition of ThinkOfLiving.com, the online real estate leader in Thailand. ThinkOfLiving.com will now operate as a subsidiary of IProperty Group Limited.
According to Georg Chmiel, IProperty Group managing director, growth presents an opportunity for the group in the dynamic Southeast Asian market.
The company, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, operates leading real estate sites in Asia under the IProperty.com brandname in Malaysia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines. Other sites owned by the group include Rumah123.com in Indonesia, GoHome.com.hk in Hong Kong, and Vproperty.mo in Macau.
The group’s portfolio also includes IProperty Buyers Club, CommercialAsia.com, and IProperty.tv, the regions first video-only site dedicated to real estate.
One of the group’s two largest shareholders are REA Group Limited, which started as Realestate.com.au, Australia’s largest real estate site with 4.4 million unique users each month.