Bayut and dubizzle owner raises $200 million and unveils plans for IPO

EMPG plans to invest significantly in its tech platforms to improve its products

The Dubai skyline. Dubizzle and Bayut have established themselves as significant players in the classified market. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The Emerging Markets Property Group, which owns classified portals Bayut and dubizzle in the UAE, has raised $200 million in funding and will now focus on preparing for an initial public offering “in the near future”.

The funding round was led by US-based growth equity fund Affinity Partners, with new funding from KCK, Acacia Partners and several other investors, including Prosus, which maintains its stake, EMPG said.

EMPG operates classified platforms across emerging markets, with a focus on the Mena region and South-East Asia. It is present in more than 50 cities.

While most of the investment is earmarked for the UAE, its largest market, EMPG said it would continue to remain focused on its core markets, which are already cash-flow positive and growing sustainably.

“With this round of investment, EMPG begins a new chapter in its success story,” said chief executive Imran Ali Khan.

“We are on track to double our revenue over the last 24 months while achieving an ebitda [[earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] positive position, and we look forward to continuing this strong growth trajectory.

“With the successful closure of this round, the company’s focus will now turn towards preparing for an IPO in the near future, which has always been part of our larger vision.”

The company, which says it has more than 200 million monthly visitors, plans to invest significantly in its technology platforms to strengthen its product offering.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citi) acted as its exclusive financial adviser and placement agent in the transaction, EMPG said.

In 2020, EMPG and Amsterdam-based OLX Group announced a merger of their businesses in the Mena region and in South Asia to create a company with assets worth Dh3.6 billion.

Dubai-based portals Bayut and dubizzle expanded last year, with 200 more people recruited.

“This strategic expansion in the UAE comes as part of the wider goals of Bayut & dubizzle’s parent company, EMPG, to attract the best professionals from the region,” the two companies said at the time.

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Updated: October 28, 2022, 8:24 AM
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