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NoBroker becomes India’s first real estate startup unicorn
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Real estate renting and buying platform, NoBroker, on Tuesday said it has raised $210 million as a part of its latest Series E funding round led by General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management and Moore Strategic Ventures. 

The round values NoBroker at $1.01 billion, making it the first property tech (proptech) and real estate startup to achieve a ‘unicorn’ status. A ‘unicorn’ is a privately held startup with a valuation of $1 billion. 

With the current fundraise, the company has raised $361 million till date, across several equity rounds. 

The company said it plans to use the proceeds from the current fundraise to expand its network across 50 more Indian cities over the next two years. It will also be investing in expanding its technology and product function. At present, the company has close to 150 individuals across its technology and product functions. It plans to double this count over the next year. 

The seven-year-old startup provides a tech-based brokerage-free real estate platform, which allows users to buy and sell as well as rent properties across six key metros including Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR.  

“We are in a business in which you can’t multiply 10-times within a month by giving cashbacks, but once you have built something, nobody else can snatch it from you within a month, so basically it takes time to get built, but once it is built, it's a very strong business,” said Amit Kumar Agarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer, NoBroker in an interaction. 

“In terms of usage of funds, we will be making our technology team much stronger, expanding to 50 cities in the next 2-3 years, and we are going to aggressively invest in our community NoBrokerhood application,” added Agarwal.  

NoBroker also offers apartment management software, NoBrokerHood for gated societies. It plans to scale its presence from 10,000 gated communities to 100,000. 

“NoBroker’s digital-first approach to efficiently solve renting, buying, maintenance and related needs for real-estate owners, tenants, buyers, residential societies and developers is paradigm shifting. Focused execution with a customer-first mindset of the founders bodes well for NoBroker’s continued penetration in this market solving for the toughest problems. In the future, NoBroker’s product stack will also find relevance in several under-regulated developing markets around the world,” said Shantanu Rastogi, managing director, General Atlantic. 

Apart from apartment management, the company also provides several value-added services including home loans, packers and movers, essential home services, legal documentation, online rent payment. It also allows direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands to sell to residents in gated communities through its NoBrokerHood platform.  

Currently, NoBrokerHood has close to 60 brand sellers on its platform.  

For real estate buying, the company has partnered with close to 40 financial institutions to provide instant home loans to customers on its platform. The average ticket size of these home loans stands at roughly Rs 70 lakh. 

NoBroker currently facilitates 4000 buy and sell transactions for real-estate properties listed on its platform, on a monthly basis, the founders said.  It claims to have 75 lakh properties registered on its portal, with more than 1.6 crore individuals having used its services. 

“The buy-sell market has started doing very well. We will be making significant investment in that market over the next four to five years. The segment was pretty much stagnant for 6-7 years before covid-19 because of multiple reasons, whether it is demonetisation, or other issues. But we think the next 4-5 years will be very positive for buying and selling points, for consumption as well as investment,” said Saurabh Garg, co-founder and chief business officer, NoBroker. 

“The second wave (of covid-19) wasn’t as bad when it comes to demand (for rentals),” added Garg.  

Over the next two fiscal years, real estate buying is expected to contribute to almost 60% of the firm’s overall revenues, owing to higher ticket sizes. Home and financial service verticals are expected to contribute another 25% to the firm's revenues.     

The company is now working with new-age insurance players to launch customised insurance products for home-owners on its platform. For residents, it is also planning to boost discoverability of services and commerce on its platform. 

Other marquee investors in NoBroker include Elevation Capital, Moore Capital, Beenext and KTB Ventures.

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