Startup Receives Investment from Leading Swedish VC Milky Way Cap
Uppsala, Sweden – MIPARO, a residential real estate home listing portal for emerging markets, announced today that they received seed funding from Milkyway Cap, a leading Swedish-based early-stage venture fund. Milky Way acquired a 2% equity stake in MIPARO. This is the MIPARO’s second funding round. In early 2016, when the company was founded, West Island Invest AB invested $400,000 in seed-level funding. MIPARO now has a market cap of $8 million.
Susanne Birgerdotter, Partner and Board Member of Milky Way Cap said “We see a great opportunity in MIPARO because of their experienced and global management structure, and the fact that many emerging markets are underserved when it comes to online home listing, particularly for international buyers.”
MIPARO is also a major sponsor of the CEBU Property Expo which is taking place in Cebu, the Philippines on February 23 – 25.
Over 90% of all home buyers start their search on the Internet. Real estate online listing portals in the U.S. and Europe feature almost all housing inventory that’s for sale in their respective countries. In most cases, one or two portals dominate each country. Revenue is generated from agent and broker advertising. For example, Zillow, America’s leading listing portal, last year had annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. In the U.K., Rightmove is the leading home listing portal. Their revenues increased by 8% in the first half of 2017. Total revenue in 2016 was $313 million. Neither of these portals have much of a presence outside their own countries.
In developing markets, on the other hand, online home listings are often scattered among numerous brokers and sellers. Some countries have as many as 50 individual home listing platforms who seldom share their inventory postings. It is difficult, and often times impossible to find a single platform which features a country’s listings. This makes it difficult for both domestic and international buyers to find homes. Furthermore, there are virtually no listing platforms which target international buyers, who make up an increasing percentage of home buyers in many countries today.
“If you want to buy a home in another country where you don’t know the language, the market or the customs, you will have problems” said CEO and Founder of MIPARO Mikael Westoo. He noted further “ MIPARO will aggregate housing inventory on a single platform, put copy in the language and currency of the buyer, and help both the broker and buyer settle the transaction.”
Milky Way Cap’s investment will allow MIPARO to expand their offering in additional emerging markets. They also plan to put the investment funds towards marketing, brand development, and technology.
Milky Way was founded in 2016 in Sweden, MIPARO provides real estate agents and brokers in developing markets with a global platform to showcase their client’s homes, providing unparalleled international exposure. Home buyers can easily find properties in the respective markets because MiParo consolidates many of them on a single platform.
Real estate agents and brokers pay a modest fee to have their inventory listed on MIPARO. Their listings are then easily uploaded to MIPARO’s website for millions of international home buyers to see. All listings are translated into the target audience’s own language for no extra charge.
MIPARO will mediate conversations between buyers and sellers if they don’t speak the same language. Importantly, MIPARO requires a rigorous two-step verification process to make sure listings are real so buyers don’t fall victim to thieves and scam artists.
Today, MIPARO is the largest listing platform in Bangladesh and the second largest in the Philippines. They also operate in Mexico and Portugal. MIPARO plans to expand into India and Thailand in March. The company has increased revenues by 250% over the last six-months.
About Milky Way Cap
Founded in 2016 by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and angel investors who target early-stage companies in Scandinavia. They seek startups that have the potential to grow into leaders in their respective categories.
To date, Milky Way Cap has invested in a number of startups including LIVE, iGotta Studios, Like a Boss Games, Privasee AB, House of Danger, Sthlm App Lab, MyMall, Windfall, Tag and MiParo.
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