PropertyGuru CEO and MD Hari Krishnan

Southeast Asia’s leading digital property marketplace group PropertyGuru has announced that will merge with Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Pacific Century Group and Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital, to go public in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The combined entity will have an enterprise valuation of approximately US$1.35 billion and an equity value of approximately US$1.78 billion at closing, according to a statement.

The transaction is expected to deliver up to US$431 million of gross proceeds through the contribution of up to US$299 million of cash held in Bridgetown 2’s trust account, a concurrent US$100 million private placement (PIPE) of common stock anchored by Baillie Gifford, Naya, REA Group, Akaris Global Partners, and one of Malaysia’s largest asset managers, priced at US$10.00 per share.

Also Read: PropertyGuru acquires REA Group’s Malaysian, Thai proptech units

REA Group has also committed to an additional US$32 million investment. KKR, TPG Group, and REA Group will roll 100 per cent of their equity into the combined company.

The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2021 or Q1 2022, subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

PropertyGuru’s management team, led by CEO and MD Hari V. Krishnan and CFO Joe Dische will continue to lead the public company after the completion of the transaction.

Founded in 2007, PropertyGuru provides digital property marketplaces to match buyers and tenants with sellers and landlords; digital marketing services for property agents and developers; SaaS-based sales process automation for property developers, a digital mortgage marketplace and brokerage, and property data consultancy services for banks, valuers and property developers.

The company currently hosts more than 2.8 million monthly real-estate listings and serves 37 million monthly property seekers and 49,000 active property agents across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Also Read: The world of proptech and its fate in a post-pandemic world

PropertyGuru’s high growth business delivered an average annual revenue growth of approximately 25 per cent in the four years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, and its pro-forma revenue is expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of 29 per cent between CY20A and CY25F.

In May, PropertyGuru signed an agreement to fully acquire REA Group’s operating entities in Malaysia and Thailand.

“We have a story to be told and found the right partner to help us tell it to public market investors. This process of becoming a public company will provide us with greater financial resources to do what we do best — helping people find, finance, and own their homes in an efficient and transparent manner. We believe the strategic, proactive steps that we have taken over the past 18 months will enable us to stay ahead of the market’s evolving needs, which are increasingly being shaped by the growth of affluent and digitally-enabled populations living in cities across Southeast Asia,” said Hari V. Krishnan.

According to Matt Danzeisen, Chairman of Bridgetown 2: “We evaluated a number of very impressive companies across Southeast Asia and PropertyGuru is the perfect fit for us. We believe PropertyGuru is just scratching the surface of what it can deliver as Southeast Asia’s property market continues to accelerate, and we are excited to work with Hari and his talented team to capture the incredible opportunities that lie ahead.”

Peter Thiel, President, Thiel Capital, said: “The market for property is probably the oldest market in the world, and only now is it beginning to change rapidly. As PropertyGuru spearheads that change in Southeast Asia, Bridgetown 2 will provide capital and expertise to accelerate it even further.”

Also Read: Can SEA’s proptech come back to its pre-COVID-19 glory? Experts speak

Richard Li, Founder and Chairman, Pacific Century Group, said: “Southeast Asia is a unique market in that it has very high economic growth but lacks quality services in many sectors. Fast-growing middle-class, increased urbanisation, and technological disruption create a unique combination. We recognise the transformational impact of these long-term trends and are focused on operating our own core business and investing in local champions that are successfully leveraging technology to reshape the region’s economy and how people carry out their everyday lives.”

Image Credit: PropertyGuru

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