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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Property Finder closes $120m investment round led by General Atlantic

Dubai real estate website will use the funds for product and technology development

Michael Lahyani, chief executive and founder of Property Finder, at the real estate portal's Dubai headquarters. 
Michael Lahyani, chief executive and founder of Property Finder, at the real estate portal's Dubai headquarters. 

Property Finder, a real estate classifieds portal in Dubai with operations in eight Mena countries, secured $120 million (Dh440.7m) in its latest funding round led by US private equity firm General Atlantic.

The property portal will use the funds to invest in product and technology development, Property Finder said in a statement on Monday. Other investors in the fundraising round included existing shareholder Vostok New Ventures, a Stockholm Exchange-listed investment firm and non-profit Endeavor.

"This new capital will continue to support our mission of bringing more transparency and information to the six million property seekers visiting our platform each and every month, and to deliver the best leads and market data to real estate agents and developers," said Michael Lahyani, chief executive and founder of Property Finder.

New York-listed General Atlantic's stake acquisition in Property Finder is its latest in a series of technology investments that include tech giants Snap, Airbnb, Facebook and Alibaba. The company, which has $28 billion assets under management as of June 30, invests in four main sectors of consumer, financial services, health care and technology. Property Finder, established in 2007, operates in eight regional markets UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey.

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Following the latest fund-raising round, Property Finder is valued at close to $500m, Reuters reported, citing Mr Lahyani. The company was last valued at $200m in 2016 when it sold a 10 per cent stake to Vostok New Ventures for $20m.

As part of the deal, General Atlantic's head of technology for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Chris Caulkin, will join Property Finder’s board of directors, the company said. Property Finder was advised on the transaction by TAP Advisors.

The property portal employs more than 450 people and gets six million monthly visitors to its website. The company is likely to add about 200 staff to its workforce by the end of next year, Mr Lahyani told Reuters.