Online firm Grupo Zap is chasing a billion-dollar opportunity by introducing the instant home buyer (i-buyer) model in Brazil, with plans to nearly double its workforce and enhance data analytics capabilities to support the new business.
With Grupo Globo, one of Latin America's largest media conglomerates as a majority shareholder and the likes of Monashees and Kaszek Ventures as backers, Zap owns the two largest real estate marketplaces in Brazil and provides a range of data-driven services to the industry.
Under the i-buyer model, online firms assess and purchase properties from owners, which are then renovated and put back into the market. Sector leaders include US firms Open Door and Zillow, the latter being the largest operator with a three-to five-year revenue target of a whopping $22 billion.
By introducing the approach in Brazil, Zap aims to shake up the local real estate market. The firm's own data suggests transactions in the country have shrunk 30-40 percent since the last peak in 2014, with property owners currently waiting 468 days on average to sell.
The company will invest 100 million reais ($25 million) in about 200 property acquisitions in large urban centers in Brazil over the next 12 months. Once its i-buyer business is operating at scale, Zap hopes to claim a 10 percent marketshare of the country's real estate business, currently estimated at about 200 billion reais ($50 billion) a year. Read more