Y Combinator invests in home rental marketplace ZiffyHomes

By Binu Paul

  • 03 Aug 2018
Credit: Pixabay

ZiffyHomes, an online marketplace for home rental services, has raised $120,000 (around Rs 82 lakh) from Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator.

Gurugram-based ZiffyHomes is part of Y Combinator’s summer cohort for 2018.

Founded in May 2015 by Sanchal Ranjan and Saurabh Kumar, ZiffyHomes lets users rent or let out homes online without brokerage. It offers ready-to-move-in individual rooms for long stays and allows tenants to pay their rent online.

Run by Ziffy Technologies Pvt. Ltd, ZiffyHomes currently operates only in Delhi-NCR and is looking to expand to other cities.

“This (incubation programme) is a perfect opportunity for us that is helping us enhance our business model and providing an effective vision to think from the perspective of adding value to customer experience," said co-founder Ranjan.

Before setting up ZiffyHomes, Ranjan had worked with consulting firms KPMG and Deloitte. An Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur alumnus, co-founder Kumar had previously served as assistant vice-president-investment banking at SBI Capital Markets.

The company says it provides homeowners with a platform to connect with verified tenants and help them earn higher rent. It uses an analytics-based algorithm to generate area heat maps and provide demand forecasts.

The firm had previously raised Rs 2 crore ($313,503) from a group of angel investors led by Bikky Khosla, chief executive of business-to-business portal Trade India, and Anirudh Agarwal, managing director of diversified business conglomerate Shree Sharda Group.

ZiffyHomes had earlier this year acquired two of its rivals– FellaHomes and Nivassa Rental to bolster its foothold in the Delhi-NCR market.

Among bigger players in the space include Bengaluru-based NestAway. Last December, NestAway had raised $50 million in a round led by UC-RNT Fund with participation from existing investors IDG Ventures and Tiger Global.

Y Combinator
The US-based accelerator Y Combinator started onboarding Indian startups in 2016. Several of its portfolio companies have raised venture capital investment since then.

Recently, Groww, an online platform that sells direct plans of mutual funds, raised $1.6 million (Rs 11 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Insignia Ventures Partners, Lightbridge Partners and Kairos.

In June, trade finance firm Drip Capital, which is based in the US as well as India and founded by Indian-origin entrepreneurs, raised $15 million (around Rs 102 crore) in a Series A funding round from venture capital firms Accel Partners, Sequoia India and California-based Wing VC.

TechCircle recently reported that two Y Combinator-backed startups – ServX, an online marketplace for car maintenance services, and SimpleMoney, a portfolio tracker for Indian mutual funds and stocks - had suspended operations.

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