Vietnam based offline-turned-online real estate startup Propzy secured funding of US$ 25Million in Series A funding led by Gaw Capital and SoftBank Ventures Asia, the early-stage venture part of SoftBank Group. Other investors include Next Billion Ventures, RHL Ventures, Breeze, FEBE Ventures, RSquare and Insignia.
Founded in 2016 by John Le, who prefers to call his startup a “firetech” instead of “proptech”, implying fire to be an abbreviation of financial, insurance, and real estate technology. This startup is a real-estate based platform and guides customers through the whole proceedings of a real-estate dealing. Propzy’s technology helps the client go through every step of the transaction, from brick-and-mortar sales centers to an online marketplace for listings, financial products like mortgage lending and, finally, enterprise software for property managers and tenants. Its goal is to provide anyone coming up to take their services with a safe and secure buying, selling, and renting experience.
It has been reported that this funding will be utilized to expand its product line and to also enter direct mortgage financing. Currently, it mainly operates in Ho Chi Minh City, and is planning to enter Hanoi and later on Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
John Le was quoted to say that, Propzy has handled more than US $1Billion in property transactions since its launch, making it the largest offline-to-online real estate network in Vietnam.
Le came to Vietnam in the year 2009 to launch an international credit bureau with TransUnion, and that is when he noticed how inconvenient the process of renting or buying property there can be because there is also no standardized listing information, which makes comparing numerous properties difficult for consumers. Le further explained, “We cannot merely build a website and put properties in it, therefore we built an offline agency, but you need to utilize tech to increase its efficiency and performance, so we are an offline-to-online platform. That high-touch customer service needs to go all the way, not just for property matchmaking but to help both parties successfully close and settle transactions.”
The Sales Department is an important asset of the startup’s online platform since the staff their first screen all the tens of thousands of properties that apply for entrance there. After proper verification, the respective property is listed. Propzy presently has 30 brick-and-mortar sales centers, with a total of 400 employees in the sales department. Over the next 18 months, it expects to increase those figures to 70 sales centers and 1,300 sales staff.
The pandemic has put excessive stress on Vietnam’s actual property market, with a 70% discount in Propzy’s enterprise due to the country’s nationwide lockdown in April. However, extra people have been doing searches on-line and inquiring about promoting property, Le mentioned. They have kept numerous deals for their customers so that they don’t have to wait for the pandemic to end, because people always require houses, and, in this way, they can continue doing business.
In a press statement about the investment, Gaw Capital managing partner Humbert Pang said, “Given the favorable macroeconomics exhibited by Vietnam and Gaw’s conviction in offline-to-online business models in real estate, we are excited by our investment into Propzy. We see the value proposition and steadfast vision that Propzy and its management team brings to the table and are therefore very optimistic in Propzy’s business and the market within which it operates.”
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