PropertyGuru appoints REA Group CEO Owen Wilson to board of directors

Southeast Asian-based PropTech company, PropertyGuru has announced that REA Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Owen Wilson has joined its board as a non-independent director.

Mr Wilson’s appointment follows REA’s acquisition of an 18 per cent equity interest in PropertyGuru, which it received as part of the group’s acquisition of REA’s Malaysia and Thailand entities that was completed on August 3.

REA plans to further extend its strategic investment in PropertyGuru through participation in the group’s business combination with Bridgetown 2 Holdings Limited – a special purpose acquisition company formed by Pacific Century Group and Thiel Capital LLC.

REA will participate in the approximately US$132 million private placement of common stock of the combined company, by making an equity investment of US$32 million and will roll its existing equity position in PropertyGuru into the combined company.

Mr Wilson brings more than three decades of experience working across the real estate, information technology, recruitment and finance industries in Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom, where he has driven digital transformations to help companies adapt to new operating environments.

In a statement, PropertyGuru said, as CEO of REA Group, Mr Wilson’s leadership had been instrumental in building high performing teams delivering customer solutions and personalised consumer experiences to change the way the world experiences property.

“The appointment of Mr Wilson further strengthens PropertyGuru’s board as the group prepares to accelerate its growth strategy by becoming a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange,” they said.

His appointment follows the recent addition of Rachna Bhasin, a global technology leader and proven entrepreneur, as an independent director.

PropertyGuru CEO and Managing Director, Hari V Krishnan said Mr Wilson would be a valuable addition to the board.

“Over the past 14 years, PropertyGuru has helped create the PropTech industry in Southeast Asia and is focused on leveraging our technology and data to help people make confident property decisions in an efficient and transparent manner,” Mr Krishnan said.

“We welcome REA as a strategic partner as we take the group forward into our next phase of growth.

“Owen is an accomplished global business leader, who shares our vision and we are delighted to welcome him to our board.

“I have enjoyed my discussions with him and look forward to the group gaining from his extensive experience.”

Mr Wilson noted PropertyGuru was a leader and driver of transformation in the competitive Southeast Asia PropTech market.

“Hari and his team are simplifying how property buyers, sellers, agents and developers interact using technology and data driven insights,” Mr Wilson said.

“I am excited to be joining PropertyGuru’s board as the group continues to spearhead the transformation of the region’s property market.”

With Mr Owen’s appointment, PropertyGuru’s Board of Directors expands to nine directors:

  • Olivier Lim, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chairman
  • Hari V Krishnan (CEO & Managing Director, PropertyGuru), Executive Director
  • Jenny Macdonald, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chair Audit and Risk Committee
  • Melanie Wilson, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chair Nomination Remuneration and Compensation Committee
  • Rachna Bhasin, Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Steve Melhuish (Co-Founder, PropertyGuru), Non-Executive Director
  • Dominic Picone, Non-Executive Director
  • Ashish Shastry, Non-Executive Director
  • Owen Wilson, Non-Executive Director

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