Vietnamese real estate platform, Propzy, which informs consumer through the real estate transaction process, announced that it has raised $25 million USD in Series A investment funds, with investments in the company led by Gaw Capital and SoftBank Ventures Asia, as well as Next Billion Ventures, RHL Ventures, Breeze, FEBE Ventures, RSquare and Insignia.
John Le, the CEO and Founder of Propzy said in several interviews that he wants to use the term “Firetech” to describe his company. Fire is an acronym for finance, insurance and real estate, and with the company built on a technology foundation, Firetech is the most appropriate term to describe the company.
Propzy was founded by Le in 2016, and since that time, the company has developed a number of technology systems that relate to every stage of a real estate transaction. These include tools for brick-and-mortar sales centers, an online marketplace for listings, financial products – such as mortgage lending and, enterprise management software for both property managers and their tenants.
Propzy said that the new funds from Series A will be used for three key areas: (1) the company continue to develops its technology related to its current and planned product lines, (2) an expansion into Hanoi in 2020 and 2021, and (3) capital for company’s planned expansion into mortgage financing.
Ho Chi Minh City has been the center of the company’s operations to date, and the company has developed 30 brick-and-mortar sales centers in the city and has recruited 400 sales staff to operate from them. Through this year and next, the company plans to expand to 70 sales centers and have 1,300 sales staff working from them.
Le discussed the company’s dynamic growth and said that the sales centers complement Propzy’s online marketplace, and that staff at the sales centers have pre-screened thousands of properties before they are entered into its listings.
Since its launch in 2016, Propzy says that it has processed more than $1 billion USD in real estate transactions, which makes it the largest offline-to-online real estate network in Vietnam.
Le is a serial entrepreneur and his past startups include LoanTrader, a mortgage-trading platform that was backed by Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and GE Capital. In 2009, he went to Vietnam to launch an international credit bureau with TransUnion. During that time, he realized how burdensome the process of renting or buying property there can be.
In Vietnam there is no criteria for real estate listing data, which makes comparing multiple properties difficult for consumers. In order to solve this problem, Le says that, “We built an offline agency, but you need to utilize tech to increase its efficiency and performance, so we are an offline-to-online platform. That high-touch customer service needs to go all the way, not just for property matchmaking but to help both parties successfully close and settle transactions.”
The Propzy platform includes historical price date for the last four years that is coupled with an automated valuation model that allows owners to have a better understanding of the true value of their property while allowing buyers to assess homes and evaluate comparable properties. Propzy’s valuation model is also used by its partner banks, and allows customers to get pre-approved for loans that are based on property value and other financial information they’ve supplied the company.
Two other services that Propzy provides buyers – after move into an apartment unit they can use the platforms tenant software to report issues or book maintenance services and amenities, and if anytime they decide to sell their property, or event rent it, they can do it through the platform.