NEW DELHI: People Group, which owns and operates real estate portal Makaan.com, has entered into talks with potential buyers, to sell the venture, at a time when the country’s online property space is being seen as the next battleground for global risk capital and strategic investors. MagicBricks. com and online web and mobile classifieds company Quikr are among those believed to have held early-stage discussions with the promoters of Makaan.com, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the developments.
A potential transaction could see promoters of Mumbai-based venture, either outright sell its entire stake, or enter into a joint venture with a new backer, which could see the promoters divest up to 50% of their ownership, and which will also have a long-term payout component built into the agreement.
Anupam Mittal, the founder and promoter of People Group, declined to speak on the developments, while emails sent to Magic-Bricks.com and Quikr did not receive any responses at the time of writing the story.
Separately, Info Edge, which owns real estate portal 99Acres, and was speculated to be in talks with promoters of Makaan, denied they were looking to pick up a stake in the venture. Info Edge, which owns a clutch of Internet properties, had raised Rs 750 crore through a qualified institutional placement in September.
According to some reports, Info Edge planned to use the proceeds for potential acquisitions for 99Acres. Mittal, who owns about 80% of the property website, runs a slew of internet properties, such as matrimonial website Shaadi.com and mobile media company Mauj.com.
The People Group is backed by risk capital investors, such as Sequoia Capital, Saama Capital, Intel Capital and Citibank.
India’s online real estate has been attracting substantial attention from risk capital investors, drawn by the massive demand for housing, combined with increased internet penetration, especially on the mobile platform.
“They’re now the primary source of visibility for consumers and have become default search parameters. This is only going to get bigger, especially in a country the size of India,” said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head for realty services consultancy JLL India.