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Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (BCCL) has acquired an undisclosed stake in an ad-for-equity deal with Noida-based Investors Clinic Infratech Pvt Ltd, a real estate marketing and brokerage firm operating under the brand of Investors Clinic. The company, started by first-generation entrepreneur Honey Katiyal, works with builders to market their developments and also provides real estate brokerage services.

The company is also in talks with two large private equity funds to raise $15 million and expects to close the round in the coming months, says Nishant Singhal, who is heading strategy & new business initiatives at Investors Clinic.

Incidentally, the firm’s business model is based on companies like E-House (China) Holdings Ltd, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007 with its market capitalisation crossing $1 billion. E-House currently offers services like real estate advertising, consulting and also manages a PE fund, besides offering primary and secondary real estate brokerage.

Investors Clinic currently spends around Rs 2 crore a month on advertising expenditure and the deal with BCCL will help it leverage its properties, says Singhal. BCCL publishes leading newspapers such as The Times of India and Navbharat Times, besides running Radio Mirchi and TV channels such as Zoom and Times Now. PwC, which is also the exclusive advisor in the company’s PE fundraising, was the advisor to the BCCL deal.

Investors Clinic closed FY11 with revenues of Rs 112 crore while its profit after tax stood at Rs 22.5 crore, with projected revenues of over Rs 180 crore in FY12. The company has said in a statement that it has been growing at more than 100 per cent over the past four years.

Investors Clinic has helped around 15,000 home buyers and investors in FY2011. It is currently working with more than 40 builders and is involved with more than 145 projects. The company has offices in Delhi, Noida, Faridabad, Indirapuram, Chandigarh, Meerut, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Patna, Moradabad, Lucknow, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, and Dehradun. It also plans to open offices in Agra and Chennai soon. In addition, it will use the franchisee route to open 50 more branches in smaller towns by March 2012.

Investors Clinic has recently launched two overseas offices in Dubai and Singapore, targeting the NRI market keen to invest in India and also helping Indians who want to buy properties abroad.

Besides marketing and brokerage, the company has launched home loan facilitation services called Loan Clinic. It also plans to launch Interiors Clinic, focused at owners of ready-to-move-in properties where the company will offer turnkey solutions, covering electrical, woodwork, bathroom and other fittings.

Agni Property Group is another company in the realty brokerage space which has raised funding. It had snapped up $12 million from Silicon Valley-based Foundation Capital and Helion Venture Partners last year.

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