Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) has this morning announced that it has increased its stake in Philippino transaction-based real estate marketplace Hoppler. The deal sees FDV take majority ownership in the company raising its shareholding from 42% to 51.1%.

Describing itself as “the first fully online real estate network and brokerage company in the Philippines”, Hoppler is a real estate marketplace that takes free listings and monetises the resulting transaction via its internal brokerage agents who represent the client and use the platform’s proprietary deal management system.

The Phillipino market in which Hoppler operates is still very fragmented and suffers from a lot of issues typical in developing markets. The firm is one of several marketplace companies shaking up the traditional classifieds model in the region and focusing on standardising the supply and monetising the transaction.

A press release around the increased investment reported that Hoppler has performed well in H1 of 2021 logging revenues of A$380k, an increase of 85% on the prior corresponding period. FDV will be confident that Hoppler can follow in the footsteps of its stablemates Zameen and InfoCasas and begin to deliver positive EBITDA margins as the market it operates in consolidates and matures.

Hoppler was founded in 2014 by Ramon Ballesca, an experienced Silicon Valley entrepreneur who saw that the local property market suffered from fragmentation and a lack of trust. Frontier Digital Ventures first invested in the startup in 2017 and will have been motivated to strengthen the relationship after Hoppler bought out direct Manila rival ZipMatch in November 2020.

Speaking about his company’s increased investment, FDV founder and CEO Shaun Di Gregorio said:

“Moving to majority ownership of Hoppler is a natural step in consolidating FDV’s position across the
property and auto verticals in the Philippines and Developing Asia more broadly. Hoppler is
experiencing rapid growth as a result of their innovative transaction model, which also has relevance
to other operating companies in FDV’s portfolio.

Achieving greater control of the operating companies across our portfolio is consistent with FDV’s
mission to become the leading global operator of online marketplace businesses in emerging markets.
Our current focus is on Developing Asia following the recent consolidation of our strategic footprint in
South America.”

The move to controlling ownership in Hoppler by FDV comes just a month after the ASX-listed firm increased its stake in South American portal company InfoCasas from 51% to 100% and in the words of one investor, tied “a bow around their South American assets”.  The company is now focussing on developing Asia where it owns stakes in Zameen, LankaPropertyWeb and iMayanmarHouse among others. – Online Marketplaces