Real estate portal Housing, which currently lists rental flats in Mumbai, has raised an undisclosed amount from former Netwrok18 CEO Haresh Chawla, a top executive of the company told Techcircle.in.
“I won’t be able to disclose the amount but it’s multiple times the amount we raised for the first time,” said Housing co-founder Advitiya Sharma. “We are primarily focusing on rentals but we have also received a plethora of requests from consumers and brokers. So we have launched a ‘buy and sell’ feature on our platform as well,” he added.
In February this year, the Mumbai-based startup secured an undisclosed sum from a group of angel investors, led by Zishaan Hayath, co-founder of the phone commerce company Chaupaati Bazaar, which was acquired by Kishore Biyani’s Future Group a couple of years ago.
According to Sharma, the fund will be primarily used for expansion to other cities. “We conducted a poll on Facebook and got good response with more than 50,000 people taking part. We received overwhelming response from Hyderabad. So the funding will be primarily used for expansion to other cities and Hyderabad will be the first choice,” he said.
Housing was founded in 2012 by a group from IIT Bombay and it is owned & operated by Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd.
As for revenue generation, the company charges bi-annual and annual subscription fees (only applicable to brokers). “We get subscription fees from brokers and enable them to upload unlimited listings on our site. The listing for landlords is free for now, but we may start charging a nominal amount later. We also track the total number of hits and queries for each flat,” noted Sharma.
Chawla left Network18 in November 2011 after a decade-long stint with the company and joined India Value Fund Advisors as a partner. His leadership resulted into the Network18 group reaching over 300 million households across various media platforms – television, print, films, mobile and the internet. He also led the formation of the joint venture Viacom18, which now runs a number of channels including COLORS, MTV, Nickelodeon and Vh1, and the processing facility Studio18.
Prior to joining Network18, Chawla was the business development head at HCL Comnet. He also set up ABCL’s film distribution business and was instrumental in launching Times Music when he was with the Times of India Group.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)