Dubai-based real estate classified website Propertyfinder Group announced that it has received funding worth $20m from Sweden-listed investment company Vostok New Ventures.
The investment has raised the company’s valuation to $200m, Propertyfinder said in a statement.
The company said that it will use the new investment – one of the largest in the region’s emerging technology sector – to develop its proprietary technology, bring in additional creative talent and intensify marketing efforts.
The senior team at Propertyfinder will continue to retain full management control and majority ownership of the group, which employs over 150 people across six offices, the statement clarified.
Propertyfinder covers markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco. The website receives over one million users, generating over 300,000 leads for agents and developers.
“Our strategic vision is to become the number one online real estate destination in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Propertyfinder Group’s chief executive Michael Lahyani.
“In the next twelve months, we will be using this new capital to build and strengthen our sales and marketing teams on the ground in each of our key markets.”
Venture capital firms are increasingly investing in Middle Eastern markets, encouraged by a group of successful startups.
Last year, Dubai-based e-commerce retailer Souq.com received a $27m funding from the International Finance Corporation – a member of the World Bank Group – and the IFC Asset Management Company.
UAE-based taxi app Careem also received $60m in funding from a group of investors led by Abraaj Group while Beco Capital invested $4m in e-commerce firm JadoPado last year.
By Mary Sophia
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