Property Finder to buy UAE rival JRD Group

JRD Group owns and operates and

Dubai-headquartered Property Finder agreed to buy UAE rival real estate portal operator JRD Group for an undisclosed sum. Pictured, Dubai Marina. Sarah Dea / The National
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Property Finder signed an agreement to acquire JRD Group, another UAE-based real estate portal, which operates and broker technology platform, for an undisclosed sum.

“Property Finder and JRD Group share the same consumer-centric philosophy and vision of further professionalising the real estate market,” said Michael Lahyani, founder and chief executive of Property Finder.

“The integration of our products and additional investment in will provide consumers with better insights to support them in making property buying or renting decisions.”

JRD Group’s existing shareholder, iMena Group, a company that operates online and mobile businesses in the Middle East and North Africa, will exit its investment as part of the transaction, Property Finder said.

The acquisition of, a real estate broker customer management platform, through this deal will help Property Finder diversify its activities from real estate sales and lettings listings and market research.

Dubai-headquartered Property Finder is seeking mergers, acquisitions and other investments to expand its operations in Mena. It currently operates in seven markets, including the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Qatar.

Last week, it struck a deal to increase its stake in Zingat – the second largest property portal in Turkey – to almost 40 per cent, with the deal expected to close after customary conditions have been met. This transaction would further increase Property Finder’s reach outside the Middle East.

The Zingat deal was Property Finder’s first since the close of its $120 million investment round last November, led by US private equity company General Atlantic.

General Atlantic's vice president Tom Hussey will join Zingat's board as a director, under that deal.

Under Monday's deal, JRD Group founders Alex Nicholas, who is also chief executive, and Siddharth Singh will stay on in their current roles and become shareholders of Property Finder.

“This is a great outcome for us after 10 years of hard work,” Mr Nicholas said. “We believe sharing synergies will offer coherence and integration in our combined technology offerings to real estate brokers and developers.”

The deal will also enable JRD Group to develop its enterprise software products and property portals further and reach a larger audience through Property Finder’s network, Mr Nicholas added.