DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – June 18 , 2017 : Michael Lahyani , Founder of propertyfinder.ae at his office in Al Shatha tower in Dubai Media City in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Business. Story by Michael Fahy. ID No :- 29762 *** Local Caption ***  PS1706- MICHAEL LAYHANI09.jpg
Michael Lahyani ,founder and CEO of Property Finder Group, plans to recruit more staff and invest in technology after securing $120m in a new funding round. Pawan Singh / The National 

Property Finder eyes 50% revenue growth as it deepens Middle East presence



Middle East real estate portal Property Finder Group targets up to 50 per cent annual growth in revenues and website users in the near term, as it invests in new staff and technology after clinching $120 million (Dh440.7m) in its latest funding round, announced on Monday.

The Dubai-based company, which has operations across eight markets in the Middle East and North Africa, is also open to acquisitions, after investing in a Turkish firm last year, and may consider an initial public offering in three to four years, its founder and chief executive said.

"The group saw year-on-year growth of 40-50 per cent in 2017, but if you look at some of our fastest growing markets, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it was more like triple-digit growth, and we expect this to continue," Michael Lahyani told The National.

The company “would not rule out” acquisitions to expand its operations, or a public listing at a later stage, he added, but for now it is concentrating on deepening its presence in existing markets and there are no plans to enter any new ones for the time being.

The Property Finder portal lists real estate for sale and rent across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon and Qatar, and receives six million visitors per month. In many of its markets, a digital-first approach to property searching is still an emerging opportunity. “There is a lot of room for growth,” Mr Lahyani said.

The company launched in 2007 and raised $25m through previous funding rounds. The latest round was led by US private equity firm General Atlantic, with other investors including existing shareholder Vostok New Ventures, a Stockholm Exchange-listed investment firm, and non-profit Endeavor.

Property Finder did not disclose the size of General Atlantic’s stake acquisition, but it is the latest in a series of technology investments by the New York-listed firm, which has $28 billion of assets under management and has invested in Snap, Airbnb, Facebook, Alibaba and others. The deal values Property Finder at close to $500m, Reuters reported, although Mr Lahyani would not reveal the exact figure.

He plans to use the money to employ an additional 200 staff to Property Finder’s 450-strong workforce, and enhance the group’s technology to better serve clients (mainly real estate agents and property developers) and customers.

__________________

Read more:

__________________

“There are two main areas of focus – improving the accuracy of the information we’re providing, as inaccurate listings are a big problem in general across the region, and increasing real estate market transparency by collecting crucial data on transaction and rental prices, and units in the local area,” Mr Lahyani said.

Property Finder aims to develop use of artificial intelligence and other new technology to identify factors that can help determine the authenticity of a listing, such as whether brokers using the portal are in direct contact with a landlord or not.

“We already verify ads, but there is a manual element to it currently and we want to strengthen and improve the process,” the chief executive added.

Meanwhile, the reams of data Property Finder collects through its portal, such as average rental prices in a specific location, can help inform analysis of the local real estate market – something the company already produces in market reports. However, it does not intend to monetise this as a new revenue stream, Mr Lahyani said.

In the UAE, real estate sale and rental prices have fallen dramatically in the past three years on the back of low oil prices, and they are still declining this year despite higher oil prices.

“We are not expecting an uplift in property prices yet, but in any case my definition of a good market is not one where prices rise continuously, but an active one where people are buying and selling,” Mr Lahyani said.

FROM THE ASHES

Director: Khalid Fahad

Starring: Shaima Al Tayeb, Wafa Muhamad, Hamss Bandar

Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

START-UPS IN BATCH 4 OF SANABIL 500'S ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME

Saudi Arabia

Joy: Delivers car services with affordable prices

Karaz: Helps diabetics with gamification, IoT and real-time data

Medicarri: Medical marketplace that connects clinics with suppliers

Mod5r: Makes automated and recurring investments to grow wealth

Stuck: Live, on-demand language support to boost writing

Walzay: Helps in recruitment while reducing hiring time

UAE

Eighty6: Marketplace for restaurant and supplier procurements

FarmUnboxed: Helps digitise international food supply chain

NutriCal: Helps F&B businesses and governments with nutritional analysis

Wellxai: Provides insurance that enables and rewards user habits

Egypt

Amwal: A Shariah-compliant crowd-lending platform

Deben: Helps CFOs manage cash efficiently

Egab: Connects media outlets to journalists in hard-to-reach areas for exclusives

Neqabty: Digitises financial and medical services of labour unions

Oman

Monak: Provides financial inclusion and life services to migrants

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A fraudulent investment operation where the scammer provides fake reports and generates returns for old investors through money paid by new investors, rather than through ligitimate business activities.

Most wanted allegations
  • Benjamin Macann, 32: involvement in cocaine smuggling gang.
  • Jack Mayle, 30: sold drugs from a phone line called the Flavour Quest.
  • Callum Halpin, 27: over the 2018 murder of a rival drug dealer. 
  • Asim Naveed, 29: accused of being the leader of a gang that imported cocaine.
  • Calvin Parris, 32: accused of buying cocaine from Naveed and selling it on.
  • John James Jones, 31: allegedly stabbed two people causing serious injuries.
  • Callum Michael Allan, 23: alleged drug dealing and assaulting an emergency worker.
  • Dean Garforth, 29: part of a crime gang that sold drugs and guns.
  • Joshua Dillon Hendry, 30: accused of trafficking heroin and crack cocain. 
  • Mark Francis Roberts, 28: grievous bodily harm after a bungled attempt to steal a+£60,000 watch.
  • James+‘Jamie’ Stevenson, 56: for arson and over the seizure of a tonne of cocaine.
  • Nana Oppong, 41: shot a man eight times in a suspected gangland reprisal attack. 
UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

ICC Awards for 2021+

MEN

Cricketer of the Year+– Shaheen Afridi+(Pakistan)

T20 Cricketer of the Year+– Mohammad Rizwan+(Pakistan)

ODI Cricketer of the Year+– Babar Azam+(Pakistan)

Test Cricketer of the Year+– Joe Root+(England)

WOMEN

Cricketer of the Year+– Smriti Mandhana+(India)

ODI Cricketer of the Year+– Lizelle Lee+(South Africa)

T20 Cricketer of the Year+– Tammy Beaumont+(England)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Blonde

Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale
Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Monster Hunter: World

Capcom

PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Company profile

Name:+Dukkantek 

Started:+January 2021 

Founders:+Sanad Yaghi, Ali Al Sayegh and Shadi Joulani 

Based:+UAE 

Number of employees:+140 

Sector:+B2B Vertical SaaS(software as a service) 

Investment:+$5.2 million 

Funding stage:+Seed round 

Investors:+Global Founders Capital, Colle Capital Partners, Wamda Capital, Plug and Play, Comma Capital, Nowais Capital, Annex Investments and AMK Investment Office  

MEYDAN CARD

6.30pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group One (PA) US$65,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm Handicap (TB) $175,000 (Turf) 1,200m

7.40pm UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Conditions (TB) $100,000 (D) 1,600m

8.15pm Singspiel Stakes Group Two (TB) $250,000 (T) 1,800m

8.50pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,600m

9.25pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group Two (TB) $350,000 (D) 1,600m

10pm Dubai Trophy Conditions (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,200m

10.35pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,600m

The National selections:

6.30pm AF Alwajel

7.05pm Ekhtiyaar

7.40pm First View

8.15pm Benbatl

8.50pm Zakouski

9.25pm: Kimbear

10pm: Chasing Dreams

10.35pm: Good Fortune

ASHES FIXTURES

1st Test: Brisbane, Nov 23-27 
2nd Test: Adelaide, Dec 2-6
3rd Test: Perth, Dec 14-18
4th Test: Melbourne, Dec 26-30
5th Test: Sydney, Jan 4-8

If you go

The Flights

Emirates and Etihad fly direct to Johannesburg from Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. Economy return tickets cost from Dh2,650, including taxes.

The trip

Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays (worldwidemotorhomingholidays.co.uk) operates fly-drive motorhome holidays in eight destinations, including South Africa. Its 14-day Kruger and the Battlefields itinerary starts from Dh17,500, including campgrounds, excursions, unit hire and flights. Bobo Campers has a range of RVs for hire, including the 4-berth Discoverer 4 from Dh600 per day.

Afghanistan Premier League - at a glance

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Fixtures:

Tue, Oct 16, 8pm: Kandahar Knights v Kabul Zwanan; Wed, Oct 17, 4pm: Balkh Legends v Nangarhar Leopards; 8pm: Kandahar Knights v Paktia Panthers; Thu, Oct 18, 4pm: Balkh Legends v Kandahar Knights; 8pm: Kabul Zwanan v Paktia Panthers; Fri, Oct 19, 8pm: First semi-final; Sat, Oct 20, 8pm: Second semi-final; Sun, Oct 21, 8pm: final

Table:

1. Balkh Legends 6 5 1 10

2. Paktia Panthers 6 4 2 8

3. Kabul Zwanan 6 3 3 6

4. Nagarhar Leopards 7 2 5 4

5. Kandahar Knights 5 1 4 2

TECH SPECS: APPLE WATCH SERIES 9

Display: 41mm – 352 x 430; 45mm – 396 x 484; always-on Retina LTPO OLED, 2000 nits max; Ion-X glass (aluminium cases), sapphire crystal (stainless steel cases)

Processor: Apple S9 64-bit, W3 wireless, 2nd-gen Ultra Wideband

Capacity: 64GB

Memory: 1GB

Platform: watchOS 10

Health metrics: Blood oxygen sensor, electrical heart sensor and ECG, 3rd-gen optical heart sensor, high and low heart rate notifications, irregular rhythm notifications, sleep stages, temperature sensing

Emergency services: Emergency SOS, international emergency calling, crash detection, fall detection

Connectivity: GPS/GPS + cellular; Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Durability: IP6X, water resistant up to 50m, dust resistant

Battery: 308mAh Li-ion, up to 18h regular/36h low power; wireless charging

Cards: eSIM

Finishes: Aluminium – midnight, pink, Product Red, silver, starlight; stainless steel – gold, graphite, silver

In the box: Watch Series 9, woven magnetic-to-USB-C charging cable, band/loop

Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,719 (45mm)

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo
Price, base / as tested: Dh182,178
Engine: 3.7-litre V6
Power: 350hp @ 7,400rpm
Torque: 374Nm @ 5,200rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
​​​​​​​Fuel consumption, combined: 10.5L / 100km

It's Monty Python's Crashing Rocket Circus

To the theme tune of the famous zany British comedy TV show, SpaceX has shown exactly what can go wrong when you try to land a rocket.

The two minute video posted on YouTube is a compilation of crashes and explosion as the company, created by billionaire Elon Musk, refined the technique of reusable space flight.

SpaceX is able to land its rockets on land once they have completed the first stage of their mission, and is able to resuse them multiple times - a first for space flight.

But as the video, How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster, demonstrates, it was a case if you fail, try and try again.

Summer special
Results

Light Flyweight (49kg): Mirzakhmedov Nodirjon (UZB) beat Daniyal Sabit (KAZ) by points 5-0.

Flyweight (52kg): Zoirov Shakhobidin (UZB) beat Amit Panghol (IND) 3-2.

Bantamweight (56kg): Kharkhuu Enkh-Amar (MGL) beat Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov (UZB) 3-2.

Lightweight (60kg): Erdenebat Tsendbaatar (MGL) beat Daniyal Shahbakhsh (IRI) 5-0.

Light Welterweight (64kg): Baatarsukh Chinzorig (MGL) beat Shiva Thapa (IND) 3-2.

Welterweight (69kg): Bobo-Usmon Baturov (UZB) beat Ablaikhan Zhussupov (KAZ) RSC round-1.

Middleweight (75kg): Jafarov Saidjamshid (UZB) beat Abilkhan Amankul (KAZ) 4-1.

Light Heavyweight (81kg): Ruzmetov Dilshodbek (UZB) beat Meysam Gheshlaghi (IRI) 3-2.

Heavyweight (91kg): Sanjeet (IND) beat Vassiliy Levit (KAZ) 4-1.

Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Jalolov Bakhodir (UZB) beat Kamshibek Kunkabayev (KAZ) 5-0.


On The Money

Make money work for you with news and expert analysis

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      On The Money