Addendum (December 22, 2016)
On Tuesday, an anonymous source tipped us off that our financial analysis of PropTiger’s results was incomplete. The consolidated and standalone results of PropTiger Realty Pvt Ltd did not give a complete picture of its operations. So, we spent some more time to get to the bottom of this. The shareholders in PropTiger Realty Private Ltd are; Dhruv Agarwala, Kartik Varma, Bodhi Investments LLC (Mauritius), X Investment Holding Company Limited (Mauritius), Saif Partners, Horizen Partners Mgmt Co Pte (Singapore), Accel India III (Mauritius) and Prashan Agarwal.
Further details emerged of companies through which PropTiger has been carrying out its business in India. Namely, three companies.
-Elara Technologies Pte, an entity registered in Singapore. NewsCorp invested in this entity.
-Elara Marketing Services Private Ltd. A 100% subsidiary of Elara Technologies Pte. This company is engaged in the business of selling real estate.
-Aardee Technosoft Private Ltd. A 100% subsidiary of Elara Technologies Pte. This company is in the business of lead generation services, information technology, website management, support services, research & marketing and consulting services.
Both Elara Marketing Services and Aardee Technosoft are a related party to PropTiger Realty Private Ltd. As of March 2016, the related party transaction was Rs 11.6 crore and Rs 16 lakhs respectively.
Now, let’s get to the numbers of these two entities. First, Elara Marketing.
Rs 34 crore: That’s Elara’s total revenue as of March 2016. Revenue from operations is Rs 32.7 crore. Operation revenue is made of three parts. Brokerage fees. Collection fees. Services and business support fees. Elara earned Rs. 20.4 crore from brokerage fees as of March 2016. Rs 86 lakh from collections and Rs 10.8 crore in service fee. And Rs 68 lakh is business support fee. Year on year, Elara’s operational revenue has gone up by 3X. The company recorded revenue from operations of Rs 11.3 crore as of March 2015.
Rs 50.9 crore: Total expenses of Elara. In the previous year, Elara’s total expense was Rs 14.4 crore. The big ticket expense items in FY16. Salary of Rs 25.5 crore. And other expenses of Rs 24.7 crore. Noticeable within other expense is commission expense of Rs 2.8 crore, support service fee of Rs 4.4 crore and traveling and conveyance of Rs 2.5 crore.
Rs 16.8 crore: That’s Elara’s loss as of March 2016. The company recorded a loss of Rs 2.9 crore in the previous year.
Now, on to Aardee Technosoft.
Rs 16.9 crore: That’s the total money Aardee made. It made Rs 6.8 crore from support service fee, which in the previous year was just about Rs 52 lakh.
Rs 75 crore: Total expenses recorded by Ardee as of March 2016. Noticeable, employee cost of Rs 39 crore. Employee cost grew by about Rs 17 crore, year-on-year. Clearly, Aardee has been on a hiring spree. The company recorded other expenses of Rs 33 crore. Of that, the company spent Rs 15.5 crore in marketing and advertisement.
Rs 58 crore: Total loss of Aardee as of March 2016. The company recorded a loss of Rs 37.5 crore in the previous year.
Earlier, in the analysis of PropTiger Realty Private Ltd, we used the salary expenditure of the single entity to suggest that PropTiger has downsized significantly. We regret the error. It is the opposite. PropTiger has been bulking up, except in ways not obviously visible through its own balance sheet and P&L. Needless to say, our conclusion, arrvied at by studying the financial reports of PropTiger Realty stands significantly altered.
Our first analysis of PropTiger follows below, which was published on Tuesday, 20 December.
Very few companies in India have Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp as their primary investor (25%). It owns media company VCCircle and as-yet-unknown financial services company BigDecisions. Internationally, it owns Wall Street Journal, Fox Entertainment Group, HarperCollins and The New York Post. That’s an impressive list. And when NewsCorp invests in a digital real estate company, PropTiger, people sit up and take notice. But that was in 2014. Two years later, with the a variety of real estate tech companies populating the Indian ecosystem, observers hope to see the reason why NewsCorp bought into PropTiger. NewsCorp owns another company in the US, called Move, which has a real estate play. The synergies look obvious. NewsCorp now needs PropTiger to find its feet in India, so it can start connecting the dots to make another global giant.
Proptiger Realty Pvt Ltd
Name as per MCA records
What has PropTiger been up to, in the last year?
It has been an eventful year for PropTiger. It had its highs and lows. It acquired Makaan.com and a design company, Out Of Box, but saw its co-founder, Prashan Agarwal, leave the company. While its competitors launched 3D views, PropTiger launched 4D views. The company said it would hire 1,000 people in FY16. In August 2016, Raju Narisetti, former senior vice president of strategy at NewsCorp said, “In terms of revenue, if you compare, we [PropTiger] are in the top three now after Magicbricks and 99acres.”
Just for the record, 99Acres, in FY15, hit the Rs 100 crore revenue mark. Let’s see if PropTiger lived up to the buzz. Recently, there have been rumours about PropTiger preparing to acquire Housing.com.
Rs 8.43 crore: Revenue earned by PropTiger in FY16. A 63% drop in revenue from last year where it clocked Rs 22.74 crore. In FY14, PropTiger made Rs 36.68 crore in revenue. Almost 77% drop in two years. The slowdown in the real estate market has started to show.
Rs 7.77 crore: Revenue from operations in FY16, compared to Rs 22.63 crore in FY15. That’s commission money.
Rs 11.25 lakh: Spent on advertising and marketing expenses. How much did PropTiger spend in FY15? Rs 1.25 crore.
Rs 93.72 lakh: Commission paid to agents to sell on their behalf in FY16.
Rs 1.33 crore: Salaries paid to its employees in FY16. In FY15, PropTiger paid its employees Rs 7.89 crore. Now, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, PropTiger had 100 people on its rolls in FY15. Keeping the average annual salary the same, PropTiger is now left with just about 17 people in the company. Over 80% of the employees have left the building.
Rs 5.17 crore: Provision for bad and doubtful debts that was created in FY16.
Rs 11.98 crore: Unexplained, miscellaneous expenses in FY16.
Rs 13.93 crore: Loss incurred by PropTiger in FY16. The only metric in PropTiger that went up. In FY15, PropTiger clocked Rs 3.23 crore in losses. Think about it, in FY15, PropTiger was a rising star, just Rs 3 crore losses for the Rs 22 crore it made. What a difference one year makes.