Ahead of a new call next week with returning guests Dayu Dara Permata and Ahmed Aljunied, founders of Pinhome, we’re recapping three years of calls with the entrepreneurs leading what is now Indonesia’s leading end-to-end property transaction platform and globally one of the most comprehensive platforms for all things home.
In this episode, we recap the entrepreneurial journey of two of our most recurring guests on the show: the Pinhome founders, CEO Dayu Dara Permata and CTO Ahmed Aljunied. Next week, we will go on call with them for their 2023 return!
2020: Starting Pinhome
Dara: At the end of 2019, I found my momentum. Gojek was transitioning from a founder-led startup to a successor-led scale-up, and I personally had learned everything about building and scaling a tech company. So, I spoke to Ahmed about this intention to start my own thing.
Ahmed was the mini-CTO for the same services I was responsible for; he was the mini-CEO. Ahmed also felt the same way. And because we were deeply passionate about property and real estate, we decided that it was going to be our first focus.
Why property? It started from my own pain points. I used to live in a boarding room, eventually managed to save money to buy my first property, and my dream is for all Indonesians to own a home. It would be great to hear also from Ahmed’s experience.
Ahmed: The transition was very natural, as Dara mentioned. We had a unique setup in Gojek where we ran our businesses like individual startups. So, with that excellent brand, we were able to grow our teams at a suitable rate to match our growth.
But I eventually reached a point, coincidentally around the same time as Dara, where our teams had the right leadership and had gained a level of independence that required less of our attention. At the same time, our desire to solve problems at scale was stronger than ever.
2021: Digitizing the Property Transaction Journey
Dara: Since we last spoke, we have doubled the size of our team and tripled our metrics across both top line and bottom line. We closed the year strong in 2020, a feat we initially thought was almost impossible to achieve given the pandemic. Now that we are in 2021, we are excited about our internal goals and aspirations, as well as the external market dynamics.
In 2020, all efforts were exerted towards ensuring that property seekers could discover their dream property, owned by Pinhome property developer partners and then facilitated by Pinhome Property Agent Network. Then they, the property seekers, would get matched with the right mortgage products from Pinhome bank partners. Once all processes are concluded, property seekers could proceed to the transaction. All of this, from discovery to delivery of property ownership, happens on the Pinhome platform.
In 2021, we are excited to go a few steps further. While, of course, we will continue to improve the transaction journey for all stakeholders, we have also started working on the post-transaction experience.
Ahmed: The reception from the market has been really great across all stakeholders in the property sector. This has given us an opportunity to get even more insight into the needs of each of our stakeholders. And this has been really the main driver of the growth of our team.
2022: Growing into a Full-Stack Property Platform with Post-Transaction Services
Dara: Last year, we spoke about the capabilities that Pinhome has built and the impact that we’ve created. Fast forward one year, we are still Southeast Asia’s pioneer for a full-stack, cluster property transaction platform for first-time homebuyers. We have built and continuously improved both first-home buying and home services that encompass real-time, the largest property listing, MLS.
So, we have AI-powered search and property value estimators, online payment, and automatic closing. We have a full suite. And we also have fully digitized real estate investment and lending for property agents and developers, property supply chain, and last but not least, we have also built and rolled out on-demand home services with a natural expansion to home insurance. So, that has been the highlights of our work over the past year.
Ahmed: Just to jump off the automated valuation model that you mentioned, it absolutely was one of the highlights back when we were talking in the previous podcast. Even then, we had quite limited coverage; we covered about 200,000 properties in the greater area of Jakarta. Since then, I would say that we are a closer equivalent to Zillow’s Zestimate for Indonesia.
We see our product, called PinValue, as probably the region’s first AI-powered home valuation model at scale. So now, we cover more than 500 cities in Indonesia across all 70 million homes, and we do that with integration with data sources that are both private and government-based. We are collecting more transactions, more data. With more data, PinValue becomes more accurate and provides a better experience for our users as well.
2023: Becoming the Most Comprehensive Platform for All Things Home Property Globally
Dara: So, it has been a year, and we are now at the strategic inflection point of our growth. In Home, this home-seeking, home-financing, home-services platform for first-time homebuyers.
Globally, we have the most comprehensive service offerings for everything home, covering the full life cycle journey of consumers when it comes to home—from home search in primary and secondary property, home transaction, home financing with both conventional and sharia mortgage options available, home refinancing, and home services such as daily cleaning service, home maintenance service, and home appliances repair service.
We have been and continue to be number one in Indonesia for primary property search. In secondary property, we have hundreds of thousands of ‘for sale by owner’ listings coming from retail property owners, and it’s just the beginning for us. Our listing numbers have crossed 1 million, now close to 1.2 million unique listings in all of Indonesia, more than 350 cities covered.
A property agent is at the heart of our business. We have the largest property agents network, with over 22,000 professional property agents. In the middle of 2023, and consistently now, our Pinhome website has the highest daily traffic in all of Indonesia for property search, according to Ahrefs. Our Pinhome app tops the chart as number one for the ‘House and Home’ category on Android mobile in Indonesia.
Then a few other things: PinValue, which is Pinhome’s property value estimator, has full nationwide coverage in Indonesia’s 514 cities with solid accuracy—90 percent accuracy in the cities where we have a high density of listings and seekers.
The most exciting part of our journey now is that we are accelerating our growth efficiently with AI-powered capabilities, leveraging advanced LLM technologies, building AI chatbots throughout In Home’s home-seeking and home-financing journeys, making home search and home financing conversational, personalized, and delightful.
Day One Vision and Full Circle Thesis on the Indonesia’s Property Industry and Indonesian Homebuyer
And throughout all these years, their vision has remained consistent, and their thesis on Indonesia’s property market continues to come full circle.
Dara: And the vision is to make property more accessible for better livelihood and financial inclusion. The vehicle is In Home. Our mission is to create a platform that organizes information and interactions for all stakeholders in the real estate sector, from property owners, developers, renters, buyers, agents, and service providers.
Ahmed: It has definitely come full circle. Indeed, our vision is to increase accessibility to property for better livelihood and financial inclusion. We had theorized that three key things were necessary to achieve this: digitizing property listings, digitizing the property transaction process, and digitizing the property agent.
It is the integration of these three elements that provides the most value for our stakeholders. We are using technology to create this beautiful platform that connects the dots in the industry. It is the platform that enables all these different stakeholders to interact more efficiently and bring value to their operations.
Stay tuned for the full 2023 episode next week!
The content of this podcast is for informational purposes only, should not be taken as legal, tax, or business advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security, and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any Insignia Ventures fund.