MHub began in 2015 with 3 people, a simple idea, and no funding. They saw a problem in the long and arduous property transaction process in the Malaysian real estate industry, with little to no real-time visibility of data in terms of project details, unit availability listings, buyers’ creditworthiness, and financing options, for example. Buyers, real estate agents, property developers, bankers, and lawyers would communicate manually, which meant that a typical sales process could take 6–9 months.
What MHub is able to offer now is a family of client software and services to facilitate end-to-end property transactions, connecting everyone involved in the process. “At its base, MHub digitalizes the entire manual process using different apps for different stakeholders to speed up and simplify, safely,” co-founder Jason Ding told Vulcan Post. “Through this holistic approach, we’ve effectively brought down the process from 9 months to 1 month.”
With its core focus on the B2B market, it started with property developers. “Unlike traditional property listing portals that often have outdated or double listings, developers use MHub as a single source of truth,” Ding said. To date, the platform has close to 700 projects with a total of 170,000 units. “We’ve captured bookings for 64,000 units with a total Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) value of MYR 93 billion (USD 22.7 billion).”
Over 80 developers of varying size that sell locally and globally have put their trust in MHub. “We work with close to 90 law firms, 2k bankers, and 4k real estate agents,” Ding added.
The whole problem of a lengthy home-buying process seems to have persisted for years. Why then have the key players not taken much initiative in speeding up the process themselves? “It’s true that while real estate is the world’s largest asset class, it’s also one of the slowest to adopt technology,” said Ding. “It’s because there are many different parties involved in a highly multi-regulated industry.”
Hence, instead of building a single app, MHub built a suite of 10 apps to serve and connect key players. “We believe the initiative needs to be driven by a neutral party rather than property developers or banks. This position allows for wide adoption so everyone just focuses on their part of the value chain,” Ding added.
COVID-19 has also accelerated adoption, and MHub’s own sales in the first half of 2020 increased by more than threefold compared to the same period last year. The company has several exciting plans in the pipeline, but their key focus for now is to first improve their suite of apps for a better user experience. In the next five years, it wants to be the standard for all property sales transactions in Southeast Asia. On the map are five Southeast Asian countries, starting with Indonesia and Thailand in Q2 2021.
Reflecting on its journey thus far, Ding is crediting MaGIC for playing a major role in it. Two years after starting MHub, they realized that they still didn’t know much about building a scalable tech startup. So, when they heard MaGIC was taking applications for a Global Accelerator Program, they didn’t hesitate to apply. “It helped us look into areas we didn’t even know we didn’t know. I’m especially glad to connect with other startups who were going through the same stuff we were going through at varying stages,” Ding said.
For further growth, MHub is looking at fundraising. “We have a winning formula and believe now is the best time to grow deep and wide to better serve our user groups,” he said. They were recently backed by the global VC 500 Startups, and will be running an ECF campaign on pitchIN to raise MYR 3 million (USD 730,000).
It would be their second campaign on pitchIN after first successfully raising their targeted amount back in 2019. The funds would go to improving MHub’s current apps, growing the team, and marketing efforts to raise awareness of their solutions.
This article was originally published by Vulcan Post.