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The online real estate segment is heating up: News Corp has picked 25% stake in Elara Technologies Pte Ltd that owns the online real estate portal PropTiger.com for $30 million. As part of this investment, News Corp Senior Vice President (Strategy) Raju Narisetti will join Elara’s Singapore-based board.

News Corp mentions that this investment will complement and strengthen its collection of businesses, that includes news, book publishing and online real estate. The company owns US-based Move Inc which operates the online real estate site Realtor.com. It also owns 61.6% stake in REA Group Limited which operates the Australian real estate portal realestate.com.au.

Interestingly, REA also owns significant stake in iProperty which operates online real estate portals in India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. It had bought up 17.2% stake in iProperty for $106 million from Axel Springer’s French subsidiary SeLoger.com in July last year.

As for PropTiger, this investment seems to be a strategic one, since News Corp mentions that PropTiger will able to make use of its digital and product expertise, especially with REA and Move. PropTiger had earlier raised $5 million from Accel Partners and SAIF Partners in April 2012.

Founded in 2011 by Dhruv Agarwala, Kartik Varma and Prashan Agarwal, PropTiger claims to have sold more than 10,000 properties until now.

Investments in Online real estate segment

– Earlier this year, Info Edge had raised Rs 750 crore through qualified institutional placement to invest in its online real estate business 99Acres. (ReadHow 99Acres plans to use the $120 million it has raised).

Both 99Acres and MagicBricks.com (owned by the Times of India group) claim to be leaders in the online real estate listings space (and disagree on who exactly leads, based of different interpretation of traffic data).

– Bangalore-based CommonFloor has raised around $40 million across two rounds of funding this year. This includes $30 million in September this year and Rs 64 crore in January this year.

– Housing.com had raised $18 million couple of months ago and is reportedly raising $100 million more.

– Indiaproperty.com has raised $12 million from Bertelsmann and others.

– The Hindu had also launched a real estate portal called Roofandfloor.com in September this year.