News Corp, the Rupert Murdoch-led media giant, has acquired a 25 percent stake worth $30 million in Elara Technologies, the parent firm of real estate website PropTiger.com.
PropTiger.com is a real estate listing website, which also offers property buying and selling advice. It was founded in 2011 and has sold more than 10,000 properties since then.
As part of the investment deal, Raju Narisetti, senior vice president of Strategy at News Corp will join Elara's Singapore-based board.
"News Corp and PropTiger.com have a shared vision to use technology, high quality data and rich content to bring transparency and simplicity to the home buying experience and to help consumers make well informed decisions," Dhruv Agarwala, co-founder of PropTiger.com, said in a statement.
New Corp, which owns the Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal and publishing house Harper Collins, has a considerable foothold in real estate operations. It owns Move Inc., the American real estate company that runs Realtor.com and also owns a 61.6 percent stake in Australia's REA Group Limited – a leading residential real estate website in the region.
"News Corp's investment continues the acceleration of its global digital footprint with an emphasis on India. The investment creates a network effect to complement and build on the strength of the company's collection of businesses, which include leaders in news, book publishing and digital real estate," the company said in a statement.
Through the investment, News Corp hopes to maximize on one of the budding real estate markets of the world. The country's residential property sector is expected to balloon to $158 billion by 2020.
"India has more than 270 million Internet users and the number is growing exponentially.1 There is no doubt that the development of digital is empowering individuals and transforming industries, and we are extremely enthusiastic about the potential for PropTiger.com as the country fulfills its digital destiny," Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, said.
News Corp said that PropTiger.com will help "provide analysis, information and insight" to the Indian property investors and help them make better buying decisions.
"We believe the site will be the most important platform for developers seeking to market new properties and the most trusted and reliable source for purchasers, many of whom will be buying for the first time," Thomson added.
News Corp joins a slew of investors that have already pledged their money to the property portal. In 2012, PropTiger.com raised $5 billion worth of funds from investors that include SAIF Partners and Accel Partners after raising an initial $2 billion from Japan's SoftBank and Horizon ventures, according to TechCrunch.
India's Luxury property Sector
News Corp's investment in Indian real estate comes just months after global property firm Sotheby's International Realty tied up with RealPro Infra Pvt Ltd to develop properties in North India and to operate in the country's luxury real estate sector.
"India is one of the most exciting, beautiful and fastest growing markets in the world, with a developing luxury real estate market," Philip White, President and CEO, Sotheby's International Realty was quoted by Zee News at that time.
"The luxury residential real estate market in India is beginning a period of expansive growth and the Sotheby's International Realty brand will meet the needs of high net-worth individuals internationally looking for luxury homes in India and overseas using the brand's global platform," Amit Goyal, co-owner and CEO of RealPro Infra added.