Startups

Morocco’s property portal Mubawab gets acquired by Dubai-based Bayut’s parent

Dubai-based Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) that’s the parent company of one of the largest property listing websites of UAE, Bayut, has acquired Moroccan property website Mubawab. The details of transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2011 by Kevin Gormand and Toni Puig, the Casablanca-based Mubawab claims to be the largest property portal of the country. At the time of writing, they have over 35,000 listings on their website across 16 cities – almost all of Morocco – with most of them in Marrakech and Casablanca. It is not clear whether Mubawab had raised any capital or was bootstrapped.

According to SimilarWeb, their website receives close to 300,000 visitors every month which is a decent number as Bauyt itself receives a little more than half a million visitors every month.

Mubawab’s founders will stay with the company and continue to lead the portal, confirmed Haider Ali Khan, the CEO of Bayut.com who is responsible for EMPG’s international expansion and operations.

“We believe Mubawab’s core strength is its people, and we are happy that they will continue to lead the charge. Kevin and Toni have built a great team, and they are the best people to carry the portal into this new phase of rapid development and consolidation under the EMPG umbrella,” said Haider Ali Khan, in a statement. “The Group will be injecting a substantial amount of funds and expertise into Mubawab, with the singular aim of driving exponential growth across all metrics.”

What’s interesting is that the statement to media by EMPG didn’t say anything about Mubawab’s presence in Qatar. The startup has a dedicated platform for the country with the same brand. It doesn’t seem to have any traction there though, with less than 2,000 listings. It is possible that EMPG wants to expand in the Gulf with Bayut which is a much stronger brand than Mubawab here. I won’t be surprised if they decide to shut down Mubawab Qatar in the future when they launch Bayut in the country.

Mubawab’s CEO Kevin Gormand hopes that they will be able benefit from EMPG’s experience in the similar markets.

“We are very excited about this partnership and see a clear path to consolidating the market in the near future. EMPG has done a fantastic job in similar markets and we look forward to leveraging the infrastructure and tools to help us achieve the same in Morocco,” he said.

EMPG’s Chairman Gilles Blanchard, who is co-founder of one of France’s oldest and largest property websites, SeLoger speaking about the investment said, “Morocco is an excellent market with tremendous potential, and we are excited about the opportunity to develop the real estate ecosystem further.”

EMPG is one of the best funded startups in the region, and currently owns Bauyt in UAE, which competes with PropertyFinder.ae, Zameen in Pakistan which is the leading property portal in the country, Bproperty in Bangladesh and now Mubawab in Morocco.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Contributor at MENAbytes
An HR Consultant based in Riyadh who has always been passionate about tech and startups. Currently trying to build his own startup, Qraar. You can reach him on Linkedin,  Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.

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