#Asia Catcha-backed Frontier Digital injects $3.5m into two online classified sites


Frontier Digital Ventures, an operator of online classified businesses backed by Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group, today announced it snapped up stakes in online classified sites Autodeal in the Philippines and Propzy in Vietnam, with the aim of helping the startups generate more money.

Frontier invested US$2.3 million in Autodeal, which is engaged in car listings, and US$1.6 million in Propzy, a real estate marketplace, for a total of US$3.5 million.

“They are in line with Frontier’s near-term goal of bringing 10 portfolio businesses into the monetization stage,” Frontier says in a statement, adding its strategy is to establish more than US$75 million market value for each of its investments through subsequent funding rounds.

Founded in 2014, Autodeal helps buyers compare new and used vehicles, find promos, and connect with car dealers, with roughly 1.7 million site visits in the Philippines per month. It also provides dealers an enterprise-level lead management system, which enables them to track online-to-offline sales conversion.

The company will leverage Frontier’s expertise to gain a foothold in the used car market by 2018, and focus on expanding revenue streams, including car financing through its portal. It recorded over 200 percent year-on-year growth in revenue in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. “Current growth should see us achieve over US$750,000 revenue for 2017,” co-founder Christopher Franks tells Tech in Asia.

See: Meet the startup that’s helping Filipinos find the best car deals

Propzy, on the other hand, facilitates real estate sale and leasing transactions in Vietnam, listing only properties from the portfolios of certified real estate agents. The business has seen a 440 percent year-on-year growth in property listings in Q1 2017, with the average deal value increasing 50 percent. It receives a commission based on the sale value agents book.

Frontier was founded by Shaun Di Gregorio, the former head of Southeast Asia of property listing site iProperty Group, which was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s REA Group for US$534 million in 2014. iProperty is also backed by Catcha.

Currently it holds stakes in 18 companies across emerging markets worldwide. Frontier is reported to typically own 30 to over 70 percent interest in its portfolio companies.

Converted from Australian dollars. Rate: US$1 = A$1.32.

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