Housing.com Adds Rs 1,500-cr Brick To Startup Moneywall – The Economic Times – 19-Nov-2014
November 19, 2014 - Uncategorized
SoftBank and Housing.com did not reply to email queries on the development.
The transaction, analysts said, is a testament to SoftBank’s interest in India as well as the growing investor appetite for real estate listing portals. So far this year, CommonFloor and Housing have raised money , and Info Edge, the owner of 99Acres, has indicated its intention to back the portal with `. 750 crore.
MagicBricks, owned by the publisher of this newspaper, competes in the same market. Other investors in this round for Housing include hedge fund Falcon Edge, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global and the existing investors including Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. “The funds will be used to expand operations, build new technology, increase hiring and marketing spend,” said one source.
Mumbai-based Housing has been soaking up capital this year. In June, the company received .
`115 crore led by Helion Venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures with Nexus Venture also participating in the round. CommonFloor received $40 million from Tiger Global in September to fund its expansion into 22 cities in India.
With a war chest now at its disposal, Housing is priming to be an aggressive competitor in the Indian realty market. Last week, it launched a rent agreement product that helps users create and customise a property agreement online. Also on offer for consumers is a chance to find a home loan customised to their needs.
Experts are of the view that more investment will flow into Indian companies that are orga nising fragmented markets ranging from retail to taxi and realty services.
“Online services such as Housing.com reduce this information symmetry,” said Sunil Wattal, a professor at Temple University in the US. This year alone, over $2 billion has been invested across companies such as online marketplaces Flipkart and Snapdeal as well as taxi services aggregator Ola.
For SoftBank, which invested $627 million (. `3,800 crore) in Snapdeal last month and led a funding round of $210 million in Ola, the latest deal makes it the single-largest investor in Indian startups. The Japanese conglomerate has said it aims to invest $10 billion in India.
The real estate listings business could head for consolidation as portals compete for market share and an early sign of that is property portal Makaan putting itself up for sale. “Only one or two players who have a pan-India business model and have strong backing from their private equity investors will emerge as the winners. I don’t expect the niche players — those without great data or with a city-specific focus — to survive,” said Vineet Toshniwal, managing director of investment bank Equirus Capital.