NoBroker, a real estate rental and purchasing website, said on Tuesday that it had secured $210 million in a Series E round headed by General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, and Moore Strategic Ventures.
NoBroker is now valued at $1.01 billion, making it the first property tech (proptech) and real estate business to be named a “unicorn.” A ‘unicorn’ is a privately held company with a $1 billion valuation.
The recent campaign brings the total amount received by the firm to $361 million, which includes numerous stock rounds.
The funds from the current crowdfunding will be used to grow the firm’s network across 50 additional Indian cities over the following two years, according to the company. It will also spend money on improving its technological and product capabilities. Currently, the firm employs over 150 people throughout its technology and product divisions. Over the following year, it intends to double this number.
The seven-year-old company offers a technology-based, commission-free real estate platform that allows customers to purchase, sell, and rent homes in six major cities: Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Delhi-NCR.
“We are in an industry where you can’t increase 10-fold in a month by offering cashbacks, but once you build something, nobody else can steal it from you in a month,” said Amit Kumar Agarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of NoBroker, in an interview.
“In terms of how we’ll put the money to work,” Agarwal explained, “we’ll beef up our technical team, expand to 50 cities in the next 2-3 years, and aggressively invest in our community NoBrokerhood app.”
NoBroker also provides NoBrokerHood, an apartment management software for gated communities. It intends to expand its footprint from 10,000 to 100,000 gated communities.
“NoBroker’s digital-first strategy to effectively solving real-estate owners, tenants, purchasers, residential societies, and developers’ demands for renting, purchasing, maintenance, and associated issues is paradigm altering.” The founders’ customer-first mentality and focused execution promise well for NoBroker’s further penetration in this industry addressing for the most difficult challenges. NoBroker’s product stack will be useful in various under-regulated emerging economies throughout the world in the future,” stated Shantanu Rastogi, general director of General Atlantic.
Apart from apartment management, the organisation also offers home loans, packers and movers, necessary home services, legal documents, and online rent payment, among other services. Through its NoBrokerHood platform, it also lets direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses to sell to residents in gated communities.
NoBrokerHood now has over 60 brand vendors on its marketplace.
For real estate purchases, the business has worked with over 40 financial institutions to provide users on its platform quick house loans. These house loans have an average ticket size of around Rs 70 lakh.
According to the creators, NoBroker presently handles 4000 monthly purchase and sell transactions for real-estate assets listed on its website. It says that 75 lakh properties have been registered on its platform, and that over 1.6 crore people have 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.
Due to larger ticket sizes, real estate purchase is likely to account for about 60% of the firm’s overall revenues over the next two fiscal years. The firm’s home and financial services divisions are projected to generate another 25% of revenue.
On its platform, the firm is now collaborating with new-age insurance providers to create personalised insurance solutions for homeowners. It also intends to improve the discoverability of services and commerce on its platform for citizens.