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Zameen.com raises $9 million in venture round

Pakistan’s largest property website Zameen.com has raised $9 million from three renowned international funds in its latest venture round.

The investment has gone into Zameen.com’s parent company Zamzama Property Group, which also owns UAE’s leading property portal Bayut.com. The group chose not to disclose the current valuation of either portal, but said the Ali Khan brothers collectively retain controlling interest.

The news of the investment comes at the heels of a recent announcement that Zameen.com has welcomed top names from the global property portal industry into its team, including:

• Simon Baker, the former CEO of REA Group, the former Chairman of the iProperty Group, and now Chairman of the recently listed Mitula Group; and
• Roland Tripard, the CEO of SeLoger.com.

Per Brilioth, the Managing Director of Vostok New Ventures, one of the funds that was part of the venture round, will also join the Board of Directors.

Zameen.com was founded in Pakistan by the Ali Khan brothers in 2006. The startup grew in size and scope over the next few years and received an angel investment from French property portal authority Gilles Blanchard in 2012, followed by a successful Series A round in 2014. The portal has exhibited meteoric growth over the last year, expanding its team from 90 employees at the start of 2014 to well over 300 people across Pakistan currently. It also reached the 2 million monthly visits mark in August 2015.

Zameen.com CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan said the portal would remain a quintessentially Pakistani company despite the sizeable foreign investment. “The fact that Zameen.com is locally owned and locally managed has played a very central role in the portal’s immense popularity, and over the years we have made sure not to compromise on the innate Pakistani-ness that makes Zameen.com one of the country’s most beloved and successful tech enterprises,” he said.

“We have been at the helm of a digital revolution in the country that has seen millions of Pakistanis come online for the first time. This is a company run by Pakistanis for Pakistanis, and it will always be,” Zeeshan added.

Zameen.com’s Chairman Gilles Blanchard said the portal was well-funded and led by the top names in the industry. “With ample resources and a team that has virtually seen and done it all, we are ideally placed to continue leading the wave of digital awareness in Pakistan. It’s a very exciting time.”

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