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Property portal Bayut expands operations to Saudi Arabia

Bayut is taking its first step outside the UAE, and it has chosen Saudi Arabia to do so.

Bayut has launched its Saudi operations under domain Bayut.sa This comes after Bayut acquired GCC assets of property website Lamudi "It is the perfect time for us to enter this market" - Haider Ali Khan, CEO of Bayut

Bayut, the highly popular UAE-founded property portal, has now expanded operations to Saudi Arabia, bringing its diverse portfolio of properties to the Kingdom for those looking to rent, buy or sell real estate.

Bayut.sa goes live

Yesterday, Bayut.com announced that it had officially launched in Saudi Arabia under the domain Bayut.sa. The company, which was founded in the UAE in 2008, had found great success in its home country, and now wants to replicate this success in the Kingdom.

According to Bayut, the company had been planning an expansion into the Saudi market for some time and has been conducting detailed research into the needs of the real estate industry in the country.

Why Saudi Arabia…

It is no secret that Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC, followed closely by the UAE. With massive projects like the $500 billion megacity NEOM in the pipeline, and with housing projects and more being developed in the country, it makes sense why Bayut would want to tap into this market. 

“A combination of public and private sector initiatives to bolster the real estate industry have resulted in the boom of the property sector in KSA,” Bayut said in its press release on the occasion. “The establishment of the Riyadh Metro and the launch of new mixed-use mega-developments as part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 have also stimulated the market.”

Bayut highlighted that Saudi authorities have also introduced several affordable housing programmes such as ‘Sakani’ to increase home ownership among Saudi nationals. 

As per the latest data released by KPMG, residential units in Riyadh and Jeddah are set to increase by 2.3% and 2.5% respectively in this year.

…and why now?

Haider Ali Khan, the CEO of Bayut, feels that it’s the perfect time to make the company’s presence felt in the Saudi Arabian market.

“It has been around a month since we announced the acquisition of Lamudi’s assets in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE and we feel that it is the perfect time for us to enter this market,” Khan said. “Saudi Arabia is also a perfect fit for us because of the cultural and economic synergies with our home country, the UAE, but it is also a larger market in terms of geography and population.

How was the transition made possible?

In April of 2019, Bayut had announced that it acquired the Middle East operations of regional rival property site Lamudi. Bayut announced at the time that it will take ownership of all Lamudi assets in the GCC, including its portals in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE. This expansion signifies that Bayut will eventually make its way to other Middle Eastern countries. 

The acquisition was made possible after Bayut closed $100 million in Series D funding of Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), the parent company of Bayut. 

The Middle East Internet Group, a Rocket Internet Company, launched Lamudi.sa as the first real estate portal in Saudi Arabia. It followed this by launching in Jordan and UAE. All of these MENA assets now belong to Bayut. 

Bayut and EPMG enjoying strong finances  

According to Bayut, the company has been growing over 100% year-on-year over the last 5 years. It is owned by parent company Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG).

The funding raised till date totals to $160 million, making the group the most well-funded real estate technology company in the region, as per a Bayut press release. 

EPMG has closed multiple rounds of funding from top Venture Capital firms such as KCK, Exor, and other notable names. 

According to Gulf News, EPMG previously secured $20m of funding in early 2016 and has raised $60m across four previous rounds.