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Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures Forges Partnerships in Vietnam, Philippines

With its focus on high growth frontier markets, the online classified business operator invests in AutoDeal and Propzy

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BY Cristina Morales - 13 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Experts in the online classifieds space, Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) is a leading operator of online classifieds businesses in emerging countries or regions. Recently, the company made two new investments in Southeast Asia:

• $2.3 million into Philippine car sales portal AutoDeal

• $1.2 million into Vietnamese transaction-focused classifieds business Propzy

These investments are in line with FDV’s near-term goal of bringing 10 portfolio businesses into the monetization stage. “AutoDeal and Propzy are both very exciting investments for FDV in the booming Southeast Asian market,” says FDV founder and CEO Shaun Di Gregorio in a statement. “Both portfolio companies will move straight into our tier 1 portfolio category, given their current stage of rapid monetization.”

FDV’s portfolio currently consists of 15 market leading companies across 19 markets. Here’s a closer look at its two latest investments.

AutoDeal: From the new to the old

FDV’s investments into AutoDeal marks a strategic expansion into the ever-growing Philippine market. AutoDeal is the Philippines’ leading online automotive portal, with around 1.7 million visits per month. Since its founding in 2014, the platform has been helping buyers compare vehicles, find promos, and connect with car dealers across the country. Partnerships with both vehicle brands and dealers have allowed AutoDeal to make headway in the country’s new car segment, with more than 300 partner dealers.

As for next steps, the company aims to achieve market leadership in the used car market by 2018, and this investment from FDV is set to help make that happen. “We see a clear path for AutoDeal to leverage our experience in other markets as it seeks to extend its leadership across both new and used car sectors,” says Di Gregorio.

AutoDeal co-founder Christopher Franks says in a statement that partnering with FDV, which has a strong understanding of online classifieds, will play a pivotal role in how his company will cement their market leadership position.

Propzy and its boundless potential

FDV’s partnership with Propzy represents the company’s first investment that veers away from traditional advertising revenue, and instead takes on a fully transaction-focused classifieds business. Propzy’s online platform connects agents with potential buyers and facilitates their meeting, and upon the completion of the transaction, Propzy receives a commission.

True to its name, FDV zeroes in on high growth frontier markets, and so this investment into a Vietnamese business is right up the company’s alley. Plus, Propzy’s growth is nothing to scoff at. According to the statement from FDV, from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, Propzy experienced a 440% QoQ growth in property listings, with the average deal value increasing 50% QoQ. And this year, strong listing growth is expected to drive revenue growth.

Vietnam’s 92 million population has a mobile penetration rate of 147%, and Propzy has established a competitive advantage by focusing on high quality listings from qualified and approved real estate agents. “The growth opportunities in Vietnam are enormous,” says founder and CEO of Propzy John Le in a statement. “The investment will allow us to fast-track and establish a market leadership position.”