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Since it was founded in 2009 in Madrid, specialist online classified search company Mitula Group has opened four offices around the world and is using its standardised in-house-developed software to integrate global acquisitions.
The Spanish vertical search website operator has offices in London, Miami, Melbourne and Manila. After taking over Nestoria in the UK, the company is seeking more acquisitions.
Its purchase of Lokku, the owner of the popular website Nestoria, in May 2014 strengthened Mitula Group by providing it with greater coverage in the real estate sector in key markets.
“The algorithm we are using is our own development, based on standard technology, which works the same way in any country,” said Mitula CEO Gonzalo del Pozo. For example, it allows a country like Malaysia, where Mitula has no physical presence, to be a top 10 market for the company in terms of revenue.
Incorporating Nestoria into its portfolio is just the tip of the iceberg in Mitula’s strategy. As the company did with previous acquisitions in other countries, it will continue to operate both the Mitula and Nestoria brands, rolling out Nestoria-branded sites to operate in parallel with the existing Mitula-branded sites in specific markets.
“We are here to stay, working with different brands and products because, ultimately, we want to help the customer as much as possible and the brand is indifferent to it,” said del Pozo.
“When a user accesses Mitula to search real estate deals or cars and employment offers, what the user is actually doing is using a single point of access to a huge database which contains announcements from more than 13,000 partners,” he said. The number of advertisements listed on Mitula.com already exceeds 243 million.
In terms of the value generated for the partners – portals of classified ads – del Pozo explained: “We filter users, generating highly qualified traffic with a very high business conversion rate.” Ultimately, when a user is redirected to a partner – known as click-out – it is because that user is really interested in the announcement after using Mitula.
The aggregator of classified ads has already broken the barrier of 55 million visits in one month, and the CEO forecast sales for the next 12 months would be worth about €16.5m, representing an estimated 42% growth.
Debut in the Australian Stock Exchange
Mitula has become the first Spanish digital company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
Since its creation, the company has maintained rapid growth, so its initial public offering (IPO) was not because of a lack of liquidity. “We were looking to have a stronger foundation to accelerate organic and acquisitive growth,” said del Pozo.
Choosing to list on the ASX was a logical step, according to del Pozo. “It’s a market where investors have a very high level of specialisation in digital business and, more specifically, in the classifieds market.”
The company did not find this kind of specialisation in other stocks markets, such as the Spanish one.
“In addition to our operating margins, the fact that we are already operating in 40 countries and only 5% of our revenue comes from Spain was important to attract the confidence of hundreds of investors and dozens of capital funds. Indeed, we were more than three times oversubscribed in our ASX debut,” said del Pozo.
“It is very important for us to show the investors we are a global company with a long haul and a clear desire to continue our growth.”
With a market capitalisation of A$154m (€96.5m), within minutes of Mitula’s listing the price of the shares rose by 20%.