NoBroker

Bangalore-based peer-to-peer property listings platform NoBroker has raised $3 million from SAIF Partners and Fulcrum Ventures, reports TechCrunch. The report mentions that the funds will be used to expand the service beyond Bangalore and Mumbai, where it’s currently operational.

Last year, NoBroker had raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investor and co-founder of the Four Fountains Spa Saurabh Garg.

While there are a number of online home rental services in India, the process of renting an apartment is still complicated and time consuming due to the involvement of brokers/agents. The success of Facebook groups like Flats & Flatmates and Put Me In Touch indicate that there is a huge demand for peer-to-peer services, especially in searching, finding accomodation.

Founded by Amit Kumar Agarwal and Akhil Gupta in March 2014, NoBroker aims to expand to 20 cities over the next 2 years. Agarwal told TC that NoBroker’s main competition will be from brokers and not other online home rental platforms.

NoBroker initially listed properties only in Mumbai, and recently expanded to Bangalore. It claims to have 5000 listed properties in Mumbai.

The company claims that it verifies every listing on the platform to ensure that the posters are only actual owners and those searching for flatmates. Users can also message the details on WhatsApp (add +91-8107555666) and the listing will be created by NoBroker. Their customer service representatives will get in touch in case any further details are required.

The company also offers paperwork and documentation services, including lease agreement registration, bank franking, police verification and society approvals among others.

It’s worth noting that Housing.com had also introduced an online rental agreement service that allows users to create a rental agreement online and get the physical copy delivered to their homes, in November last year. In the same month, Housing.com had also launched a new Home Loans category in partnership with six financial institutions, which provides buyers looking for home loans with customized solutions to finance their purchase.

Investments in the online real estate segment

– Housing.com had raised $90 million from Softbank Group, with participation from Falcon Edge and other unnamed investors, in December last year. This was Housing.com’s second round of funding in 2014. In June, it had raised Rs 115 crore investment from Helion Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.

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

– Earlier in the 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 last year.

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