Bayut, which was launched in the UAE over 10 years ago, has been growing over 100% year-on-year over the last 5 years, according to the company. It is owned by parent company Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), which has raised till date more than $160 million in funding. This makes the group the most well-funded real estate technology company in the region.
With the company pushing forward with their expansion plan to Saudi Arabia, AMEinfo spoke to Haider Ali Khan, CEO of Bayut, to learn more about the expansion to the Saudi market, and the logistics and challenges involved.
The Saudi real estate market is very active and filled with opportunities, with projects such as $500 billion megacity NEOM and others demonstrating the country’s drive to push for massive projects. What does Bayut hope to achieve with its expansion to Saudi Arabia now that it has access to this market?
Saudi Arabia is a formidable player in the GCC and taking our expertise to this market is not only a testament to our tremendous growth, but also an opportunity for us to show the region how valuable technology can be in simplifying experiences for property seekers. It’s also an extremely promising market, with a huge potential for growth. Overall the market in Saudi Arabia is poised for a lot of positive change, with NEOM, the Red Sea project and other developments taking shape. The country is also opening up to global markets and has announced the introduction of a tourist visa.
At this point in the expansion of the Saudi market, we want to provide the same level of support to real estate agents and end-users in KSA that we have successfully provided in the UAE over the years in order to improve their overall experience when it comes to buying, selling or renting homes.
This launch will prove to be a positive contribution to the real estate industry in the region, bringing comprehensive, detailed and accurate property listings and information, as well as insightful market analysis. We look forward to taking the company to the next level with our first regional expansion as Bayut.
How will the acquisition of Lamudi help ease your transition into Saudi Arabia? Has Bayut assimilated and integrated their tech and infrastructure into its own?
Lamudi has had a strong presence in the Saudi Arabian market over the last 5 years. We hope to leverage this and integrate data from Lamudi with the Bayut technology to facilitate a more robust property website in KSA. Being a data driven company, having insight into users trends through Lamudi will give us a unique advantage when it comes to analysing evolving needs.
Do you expect to face any challenges unique to the Saudi market? If so, how will you address them?
We have been operating in the UAE for over a decade today. Over these years, we have strived to understand the needs of the region and provide localised solutions to meet the needs of the population. Saudi Arabia is the perfect fit for us because of the cultural and economic synergies with our home country, the UAE, but it is a larger market in terms of geography and population.
Before entering the Saudi market, we have also done our due diligence and researched the market at length. Bayut has already established a strong brand identity in Saudi Arabia, through our operations in the UAE and investors here are already familiar with us. We are also seasoned experts when it comes to penetrating emerging markets as can be seen from the impressive portals our parent company Emerging Property Markets Group operates in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Morocco. Using this knowledge and expertise we will be able to fine tune our efforts in Saudi and provide the right products and features required in this region. We will be paying close attention to user feedback and doing our best to enhance the customer experience through the Bayut.sa domain.
In addition to this, our acquisition of Lamudi Middle East gives us an additional advantage. We hope to bring the same level of sophistication and penetration into the Saudi market that we have achieved in the UAE and we are sure our technology driven approach will help bridge the gap and provide users with a valuable and reliable product. The launch of Bayut in the real estate market in Saudi Arabia is the first step in our efforts to grow into a formidable pan-Arab brand with operations across the MENA region.