SINGAPORE: Online real estate marketplace PropertyGuru began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday (Mar 18), following a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Chief executive officer Hari Krishnan, flanked by the company’s founders and other members of the leadership team, rang the opening bell in New York City at around 9.30pm Singapore time.
In Singapore, the bell-ringing ceremony was livestreamed to 250 employees and investors gathered at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre. The crowd cheered and waved their plastic clappers, as red confetti rained down at the ring of the bell.
“It’s taken us 15 years to get here. We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Mr Krishnan in a speech delivered at the US stock exchange before the market opening.
“This creates new opportunities, new venues for to exploit the future … We are very proud to wave the flag of Southeast Asian tech and to bring it to the New York Stock Exchange.”
The company’s shares, trading under the ticker PGRU, swung between gains and losses in early trade. The counter closed the day at US$8.46, up 1.56 per cent on the US$8.33 list price.
Speaking to reporters soon after the market debut, chief financial officer Joe Dische said: “There’s a lot of volatility at the moment in the market but our focus really is on the longer term.”
The listing came eight months after the online realty firm agreed to go public through a merger with Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a SPAC or blank-cheque company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel.
The merger was given the green light by Bridgetown 2’s shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting earlier this week.
The completion of the merger values PropertyGuru at an enterprise value of about US$1.36 billion (S$1.85 billion) and an equity value of about US$1.61 billion, a press release issued before the listing on Friday said.
As part of the SPAC deal, PropertyGuru received US$254 million in gross proceeds.
This is the company’s second attempt at going public. An earlier listing attempt in 2019 was scrapped amid a rocky market and valuation concerns.
“But we learnt a lot from that and then we go to the US. Given our size and scale now, we are in the right place,” said Mr Dische.
First launched in Singapore in 2007, PropertyGuru has over the years expanded into other markets including Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as other verticals such as home loans.
It now hosts more than 3.3 million real estate listings and serves more than 50 million property seekers every month.
Moving forward, the company said it will continue to invest in technology, while expanding its services and offerings in the regional markets.
"Southeast Asia’s real estate market is beginning to recover from the pandemic and as the region’s increasingly affluent and digitally enabled population moves to urban centers, PropertyGuru is well-positioned to benefit from these long-term trends," said Mr Krishnan.