UAE-based online classifieds platform EMPG raises $200 million funding, eying IPO listing


EMPG, the Dubai-based unicorn that owns and operates Bayut and dubizzle in the UAE and in Pakistan, has announced the closing of a $200 Million investment round at a significantly higher valuation than its last round in 2020 when they were highlighted as a billion-dollar company.

 This round was led by US-based growth equity fund Affinity Partners, with new funding from KCK, Acacia Partners, plus several other investors including Prosus, which maintains its stake. EMPG operates several leading online classifieds platforms across emerging markets focused on MENA, South and Southeast Asia.

“With this round of investment, EMPG begins a new chapter in its success story. We are on track to double our revenue over the last 24 months while achieving an EBITDA positive position, and we look forward to continuing this strong growth trajectory,” said EMPG CEO Imran Ali Khan. 

“With the successful closure of this round the company’s focus will now turn towards preparing for an IPO in the near future, which has always been part of our larger vision.

Founded in 2015 by Imran Ali Khan and Zeeshan Ali Khan, EMPG operates several online classifieds platforms across emerging markets focused on Mena, South and Southeast Asia, including Bayut, Dubizzle,, OLX (Pakistan, Egypt and Lebanon) and Lamudi.

EMPG will use the investment to solidify its position in the markets it operates in, preparing for an IPO in the near future.

The investment represents another significant milestone in EMPG’s journey as the Company establishes itself as the largest and most successful classifieds player in emerging markets. EMPG said it would continue to remain focused on its core markets, which are already cash-flow positive and growing sustainably.

The majority of the investment would be earmarked for the UAE, the company’s largest market where it operates the market-leading Bayut and dubizzle brands.

EMPG’s popular classifieds and transactional product offerings are deeply rooted in its technology platform and benefit from strong network effects. The company has invested heavily in its technology infrastructure, with its own tech centres comprising over 500 engineers. EMPG said a significant part of the incoming funds would be devoted to further investment in its proprietary and highly scalable technology platform.

Haider Khan, Head of EMPG MENA, said the Company’s flagship UAE brands Bayut and dubizzle had come together in 2020 and had greatly increased value to clients and consumers alike.

“Bayut and dubizzle have established themselves as clear leaders in the property, cars and general classifieds space since our merger in 2020,” said Khan. 

“With the incoming funds, we aim to significantly invest in our tech platforms to further strengthen our product offering across the board to ensure that our users and customers are provided the best-in-class classifieds experience,” he added.

EMPG said Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citi) acted as its exclusive financial advisor and placement agent in the transaction.