EMPG acquires Kaidee in Asean expansion
Outbreak stimulating online trade volume
Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), a Dubai-based bespoke online classified solutions provider, has taken over Kaidee, one of Thailand's major marketplaces, as part of its strategy to expand its footprint in Asean.
"We were wholly acquired by Dubai-based EMPG in February after one year of discussion," Tiwa York, head coach and chief executive of Kaidee, told the Bangkok Post. He declined to divulge the transaction's value.
EMPG owns top property portal Zameen.com in Pakistan, Bproperty.com in Bangladesh, Mubawab in Morocco and Tunisia as well as Bayut.com in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The group, which usually focuses on the Middle East and emerging markets, is now expanding its reach to Asean.
Kaidee is the first Asean company acquired by EMPG.
Mr Tiwa said EMPG saw an opportunity in the Thai market because Kaidee has a strong base of users and traffic, adding EMPG is willing to transfer know-how to Kaidee.
"Even during the outbreak, our new shareholders are committed to investing in Thailand," he said.
Kaidee plans to add another 60 employees for a total of 185 this year to serve customers.
In the first half of April 2020, Kaidee traffic increased by 15% in terms of postings compared with a normal period. It also offers free postings to the Rodkaidee (auto) and property sections this month to assist people during the Covid-19 crisis.
The company has 7 million users now and is expected to reach 10 million by year-end. It has 800,000 active users monthly.
The company earns revenue from advertising and posting fees.
Thanapong Na Ranong, president of Thai Venture Capital Association (TVCA), said this deal happened before the pandemic and global investor confidence must continue to be monitored.
However, Kaidee has a unique consumer-to-consumer marketplace with no major rivals, he said.
The outbreak is also stimulating people to trade their products online during this difficult time.
The news of the acquisition emerged on Pakistan's news website dailybw.com on Wednesday.
According to dailybw.com, EMPG chief executive Imran Ali Khan said the group's move to the online marketplace is consumer-driven.
"Thailand is one of the most exciting, dynamic markets in Southeast Asia, and its real estate and auto verticals are some of the largest in the region," said Mr Khan. "Kaidee has a rich history in Thailand and has built a very strong brand on the back of extraordinary focus on technology and connecting consumers, and we look forward to investing significant resources to take the business to the next level."