Online real estate platform House.com.mm, a part of German online start-up incubator Rocket Internet, recently claimed that it is now the leader in Myanmar’s online real estate marketplace.
The company said House.com.mm has seen tremendous growth over the last months, and that Myanmar will be “one of the key real estate players for Lamudi,” the name which Rocket Internet’s real estate websites go by globally. In Myanmar, Lamudi goes by House.com.mm.
Michiel Bakker, country manager at House.com.mm, said: “Many people think that being an internet platform in a country where there is such low penetration would be futile, however for us it is the polar opposite.”
The company said Myanmar’s current internet penetration is on the rise and the website sees that an increasing amount of its visitors is driven by mobile usage and accessing properties through its newly released mobile website.
Founded in 2012, the company, which offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters to find homes, land and commercial properties online, said it had reached “more than 250,000 pageviews and 2,000 new properties online in a month”. It said it has more than 4,000 total properties online, and it is “rapidly overtaking all other online players in the real estate classifieds.”
The company told the media at a press conference that it is currently partners with large property agents and developers in Myanmar including Asia Land Real Estate, Soe San (lynn) and Shine Construction.
“We have spoken with agents, buyers and renters and it’s great to experience that a website like this really works in Myanmar,” Bakker said.
In Myanmar offline publications have dominated the real estate classifieds for years with short ads for each property. A channel shift from offline to online property advertisements as seen elsewhere in Asia is about to happen in Myanmar too, the company said.
“A website which is completely free, always accessible from your phone and easy-to-use in Myanmar and English is a clear revolution for the Myanmar market. Even before visiting a property in real-life users can ‘experience’ a property by reading the description and browsing through photos,” Bakker said.
Lamudi has recently expanded its real estate platforms into Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines – countries associated with increasingly flourishing economies and booming real estate industries. The online communities in these countries are also rapidly growing.
“We are seeing huge interest in the classifieds industry within Asia, which indicates how important a continent it is to fully penetrate. We already achieved market leadership in Myanmar and expect more Asian countries to follow soon,” Bakker said.
The company says its business platform operates under “a high level of transparency through professional photos, updated listings, detailed descriptions, reports and rankings for its properties in each market.”
Founded in Berlin in 2007 by the Samwer brothers, Rocket Internet’s business model is to identify successful internet ventures from other countries (often the United States) and replicate them in predominantly emerging markets.
In July 2013, the company raised $400 million from an investor syndicate led by Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and JP Morgan. This is in addition to over $1 billion that Rocket raised in 2012.
Rocket has now over 150 websites worldwide in over 40 countries. In Myanmar, the company operates other platforms such as Motors.com.mm, Ads.com.mm, Work.com.mm and Kaymu.com.mm.