Property portal 99 Group appoints CTO; to hire 100 tech staff in 12 months

99 Group, which operates South-east Asian property portal brands 99.co, iProperty.com.sg and Rumah123.com, has hired Shivkumar Krishnan as its chief technology officer (CTO).

In addition, the group plans to hire about 100 additional technology staff over the next 12 months, it announced in a press statement on Wednesday.

Some of the job openings are already live. The latest listings are for positions in Singapore and Indonesia, according to its website as at Wednesday afternoon. The Singapore-headquartered startup has offices in Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung.

The group is recruiting talent such as front- and back-end engineers, product managers, user experience, user interface (UX/UI) designers and data analysts.

The CTO appointment and the hiring plans are meant to accelerate the property portal group's tech innovation for an evolving real estate industry as property hunting increasingly shifts online, it said.

This is in line with the hiring trend among tech companies seeking to capture growth in online verticals that are flourishing thanks to the digital boom amid the pandemic.

99 Group is looking to bolster its position as an innovative property marketplace, particularly in data science, fintech and virtualisation.

In particular, with the novel coronavirus pandemic hastening digital transformation in the property buying and selling process, this tech push has become "all the more important", the group added.

Darius Cheung, chief executive officer of 99 Group, noted that an increasing portion of the home search and purchase process is shifting online.

"Our platform has facilitated many transactions through tools such as live video viewings," Mr Cheung said.

As for Mr Krishnan's appointment, 99 Group said its new CTO has close to two decades of experience in the tech industry.

Mr Krishnan had spent more than 10 years in the US at tech giants including Microsoft and eBay, as well as at startups.

Before joining 99 Group, he was the director of engineering at Singapore digital telco Circles.Life. He was also the engineering leader at ride-hailing, food delivery and fintech player Grab.

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