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Housing.com raises $90M from Softbank Group & others


Online real estate portal Housing.com has raised $90 million from Softbank Group, with participation from Falcon Edge and other unnamed investors. The company plans to use the funds to map over 40 million houses across 300 cities in India. It also plans to introduce an On-Off feature on the site, which would allow home owners & real estate agents to reactivate a property when it’s up for sale again.

This is Housing.com’s second round of funding this year. In June, it had raised Rs 115 crore investment from Helion Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.

Prior to this, Housing had raised $2.5 million from Nexus Venture Partners in June last year. It had also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from former Network 18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla in March 2013, and an undisclosed amount of angel investment led by Chaupaati Bazaar co-founder Zishaan Hayath with participation from other angel investors in February 2013.

Founded in 2012, Housing.com currently operates in 45 cities across India, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Indore, Nagpur, Trivandrum, Kochi, Nashik, Vadodara, Surat, Vijaywada, Mangalore, and Chandigarh among others. It has over 350,000 property listings and over 15,000 new projects.

On the product side

– Last month, the real estate portal had launched an interactive home booking platform called Slice View in partnership with Tata Value Homes.

– In the same month, Housing.com had introduced a new online rental agreement service that allows users to create a rental agreement online and get the physical copy delivered to their homes. The company takes care all the paperwork on behalf of the user, including paying the stamp duty and delivers a physical copy within 48 hours, for a flat fee of Rs 75.

– The company had launched a Home Loans product in partnership with six financial institutions that provides buyers looking for home loans with customized solutions to finance their purchase, also in November.

Investments in online real estate segment

– News Corp acquired 25% stake in online real estate portal PropTiger for $30 million, last month.

– Earlier this year, Info Edge had raised Rs 750 crore through qualified institutional placement to invest in its online real estate business 99Acres.

– Bangalore-based CommonFloor has raised around $40 million across two rounds of funding this year. This includes $30 million in September this year and Rs 64 crore in January this year.

– Indiaproperty.com had raised $12 million from Bertelsmann and others.

Softbank investments in India

– Last month, Bharti Enterprises & SoftBank Corp joint venture Bharti Softbank acquired 36.5% stake in ScoopWhoop Media Private Limited that operates the BuzzFeed-like site Scoopwhoop.

– In October this year, Softbank Group invested $627 million in online marketplace Snapdeal.com & $210 million in online cab booking service Olacabs. Following these deals, SoftBank Internet and Media Inc (SIMI) CEO Nikesh Arora joined the company boards of both Snapdeal & Olacabs.

– The company has also committed to invest $10 billion in India’s IT & communications segment; specifically in the telecom and e-commerce segment.

– It had also recently formed a joint venture with Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, with a focus on providing digital content across mobile platforms in India and China.

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