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Prop-tech firm Square Yards raises $20 mn from BCCL, Japanese investor
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Square Yards Consulting Pvt. Ltd, a tech-enabled real estate brokerage platform, said on Thursday it has raised $20 million (Rs 142.2 crore) from a clutch of investors including media house Bennett Coleman & Co Limited (BCCL).

Japanese real estate investment company Genkai Capital also invested, Square Yards said in a statement.

Other new investors who participated in the round include Steve Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen, founders of Singapore-based property portal PropertyGuru; and Koh Boon Hwee, ex-chairman of Singtel and DBS.

Some of the existing investors also participated in this round, the Indian company said.

The company said its valuation is estimated to have touched $260-300 million in the current round of funding. It has so far raised $50 million in equity capital.

Square Yards will use the fresh capital for geographical expansion, upgrading technology and building a go-to consumer brand.

The real estate platform was founded in 2014 by the husband-wife duo of Tanuj Shori and Kanika Gupta. It is used by buyers, agents and developers. It claims to have ties with about 500 developers while its home loan unit, Square Capital, has partnerships with 90 banks and non-banking financial companies.

The company recently launched an artificial intelligence-enabled enterprise technology solution, called Edge, which is aimed at helping developers and large brokerage houses in their sales and distribution functions in India and select international markets. It has presence in 10 countries.

Square Yards had last raised funding of $10 million in early 2017 from the Lohia Group and Andre Hoffman, the chief executive of cosmetics company L'Occitane as well as a group of unnamed investors.

Just a couple of months before this funding, the company had secured Rs 80 crore ($12 million) from the private equity arm of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group.

In May 2015, the company had raised $6 million (Rs 32 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding from a clutch of investors it didn’t name.

Fundraising by realty portals has slowed significantly since the peak of early 2015. This was followed by a string of mergers and acquisitions. This included a merger between online real estate brokerage PropTiger.com and property listing portal Housing.com in 2017. PropTiger had earlier acquired property search portal Makaan.com.

News Corp, the largest investor in PropTiger, owns the parent of this website.

In early 2016, Tiger Global-backed CommonFloor merged with online classifieds player Quikr.

The early movers in the online real estate brokerage business were Info Edge’s 99acres.com and Magicbricks.com, in which the digital business arm of BCCL, Times Internet Ltd, had invested.

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