French-Pakistani Team Buys Local Property Website
Economy, Sci & Tech

French-Pakistani Team Buys Local Property Website

A Pakistani-based online property group has purchased a local listings website, according to reports from Iran's eastern neighbor.
Property portal professionals Imran Ali Khan and his board member colleague Gilles Blanchard from Zameen.com, one of Pakistan's largest listings website, have bought the Iranian site iHome.ir  "for an undisclosed sum", according to Property Portal Watch.  
Khan, founder of leading Pakistani site Zameen, and Blanchard, co-founder of France’s largest property portal SeLoger.com, have worked together on multiple projects in the online real-estate space.
The two, who say they have made the acquisition "in their personal capacity", claim iHome.ir is the oldest and most dominant player in Iran’s online real-estate segment, with a strong brand image among customers.
In April, the online business had 115,000 hits, according to analytics firm SimilarWeb.
According to the report, Blanchard will be acting as the chairman of iHome.ir; his French listings website had 14 million hits in that country through April. The French investor said Iran is a country brimming with potential and a tremendous amount of talent.
“This is a familiar situation, one that we have tackled several times before, which is why we feel very confident and are certain about success in Iran,” Blanchard says. Khan, who is one of the company’s shareholders and directors, agreed with his partner's statements.
“Iran is a market with immense opportunity. We believe in businesses being run locally and in paying attention to the local milieu," he said.
"With that in mind, we are well into the process of building the strongest team in the country’s tech industry.”
Khan said more than 40 people have already been hired, led by CEO Mohammad Hossein Rafatnejad and based in the company’s new 600-square-meter office in Tehran.
“The decades of experience and knowledge we have in the form of Gilles and Imran is an invaluable asset, and one we plan to utilize fully as we scale up our operations here in Iran,” says Rafatnejad, a startup expert and graduate of Sharif University of Technology. Since being bought out, the website has been overhauled, according to the investors who wish to tackle the lagging online website listings site.
Mobile apps across platforms and a fully functioning customer relationship management are currently in the testing phase before the final launch this month.


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