Homers.in, a C2C platform that facilitates home rentals, has raised its first round of funding from a clutch of angel investors.
WYDR.in founder Devesh Rai G, FHO Communications CEO Rajesh Aggarwal and Amazon’s Amitpal Bhutani took part in this round, the company said in a statement.
The startup, which is operational in Gurgaon and Noida, will use the money to expand into six cities by March next year.
The company says it directly connects home owners and renters via a multi-level verification process. It also offers services such as notarising agreements, registration and due diligence. The real estate marketplace claims to have over 4,500 listings.
Homers was launched in May this year by Tarun Chaudhry and Vineet Pathania. Prior to co-founding Homers, Chaudhry was chief operating officer at Conscient Football, the India partner of Football Club Barcelona, for its youth development programmes. He has also worked for advertising agencies Dentsu, Mudra, Rediffusion DY&R and Innocean/Hyundai.
Pathania is a serial entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience in below-the-line communication and experiential marketing.
WYDR.in's Devesh, who was a founding team member at shopping portal Shopclues, said Homers has created the right mix of checks and balances to set up a platform that enables actual transactions between home owners and home seekers.
The Indian online realty market is dominated by Info Edge's 99acres and Times group-owned MagicBricks. PropTiger, CommonFloor, Housing.com and IndiaProperty are among other major players.
The sector attracted a substantial fund flow in 2014 when investors such as News Corp and Japan's SoftBank wrote large cheques for housing startups. But it has been a dry run this year except News Corp raising its stake in PropTiger by investing an undisclosed amount in June.
Industry watchers say several once high-flying real-estate startups – faced with deep-pocketed global players backing their rivals – are considering mergers at the behest of their investors. While IndiaProperty is trying to join hands with IndiaHomes, online classifieds firm Quikr is inching closer to buying CommonFloor.
Both MagicBricks and Chennai-based IndiaProperty had hired investment bank Moelis & Company for fundraising early this year. However, they did not seem to have made much progress.
Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs Housing.com, is soon to raise fresh capital from lead investor SoftBank, almost a year after it last raised funding. It would also be the first round of funding since the startup's board sacked its co-founder and former CEO Rahul Yadav over an open feud with the company's investors, media and others in the startup ecosystem.
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