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Real estate portal CommonFloor raises funding from Google Capital

08 January, 2015

Bangalore-based maxHeap Technologies Pvt Ltd, the company behind the real estate and apartment management portal CommonFloor.com, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Google Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of tech giant Google Inc.

The fresh funding comes just three months after the firm grabbed $30 million (Rs 181 crore) in Series E round of funding from existing investor Tiger Global Management.

“The investment shows that Google Capital believes in CommonFloor and our vision to transform the real estate market in India. We look forward to drawing on the technical and operational expertise of Google Capital’s partners and advisers as we continue to scale our business,” said Sumit Jain, co-founder and CEO of CommonFloor.

This is Google Capital’s second investment in India following its investment in SaaS-based customer support solutions startup Freshdesk Inc in mid-2014 and the third ever in Asia.

“CommonFloor.com makes it easy for people in India to research, buy, sell and rent real estate. The online real estate market in India is poised for tremendous growth,” said David Lawee, partner at Google Capital.

CommonFloor was founded in 2007 by Jain and Lalit Mangal (both have degrees in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee), along with Vikas Malpani, a Computer Science graduate from Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belgaum, Karnataka. CommonFloor combines property search, apartment management and vendor management. It also facilitates interactions within an apartment community (on the ‘common floor’ platform) and connects people to relevant service providers. The portal is free for end-users but the firm charges businesses for listing, marketing and advertising on its site.

CommonFloor.com claims that it has more than 0.5 million active property listings on its platform from over 200 cities. The platform has already mapped 10 million homes, and has a team of over 1,000 employees.

Accel Partners is another existing investor in CommonFloor.

The firm has just acqui-hired Bangalore-based Nativebeta Pvt Ltd, the company behind Bakfy, a hyper local Twitter-like social app for college campuses, in a cash-cum-equity deal.

Google Capital is a growth equity fund that is focusing on emerging, long-term technology trends and the companies that are leading disruption in their respective markets by harnessing these technologies. Its other portfolio companies are SurveyMonkey, LendingClub, Renaissance Learning, Auction.com, CreditKarma, MapR Technologies, ThumbTrack and InnoLight.

Online real estate space in India

Indian online property search market is highly-crowded, with players like 99acres.com, IndianProperty.com, Makaan.com, Magicbricks.com, CommonFloor.com and Proptiger.com competing with each other. Most of these firms have already raised millions of dollars in funding over the last couple of years.

In December, real estate listing portal Housing.com secured $90 million in fresh funding, led by Japanese telecom and internet giant SoftBank Corp., with participation from New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital and existing investors.

In November, Global media giant News Corp had acquired a 25 per cent stake in Elara Technologies Pte Ltd (Elara), the Singapore-based parent of PropTiger, for $30 million.

A few months ago, Info Edge’s 99acres.com raised $125 million via QIP. According to an Info Edge spokesperson, the company is anticipating online real estate players to raise about $300 million in the next three years from PE/VC investors. The online classifieds segment in the real estate sector is worth Rs 300 crore as of now.

Another firm Bangalore-based maxHeap Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns real estate and apartment management portal CommonFloor.com, had secured $30 million (Rs 181 crore) in Series E round of funding from existing investor Tiger Global Management.

In April last year, Gurgaon-based real estate broking portal IndiaHomes.com had raised Rs 150 crore ($24.9 million) from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Foundation Capital.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)


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Real estate portal CommonFloor raises funding from Google Capital

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