Online classifieds company Quikr is planning to launch a real estate-focused website called quikrhomes.com, reports ET Tech. Quikr CEO Pranay Chulet told the publication that the site will be launched within the next 4-6 weeks. The new website is expected to feature listings for plots and commercial spaces, alongside listings for houses and apartments for sale and available on rent.
What’s really interesting is that, apparently, the value of real estate related transactions are worth 50% of all transactions on Quikr. The report mentions that every month there are 2 lakh real estate related transactions, and the site currently has 20 lakh active real estate listings.
While this seems like the next logical step for Quikr, the Mumbai-based company will be entering a highly competitive sector. Last year, the online real estate segment had attracted a lot of funding and witnessed a lot of product experimentation. Quikr, which itself had raised $60 million in September 2014 and $90 million in March 2014, will be up against the likes of Housing.com, 99Acres, MagicBricks.com and CommonFloor among others.
Investments in online real estate segment
– It’s recent troubles notwithstanding, Housing.com raised $90 million from Softbank Group and others in December last year, plus $18 million from Helion Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners in June.
– Bangalore-based CommonFloor raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Google’s late stage growth fund Google Capital in January. It had also raised around $40 million across two rounds of funding in 2014, including $30 million in September and Rs 64 crore in January.
– News Corp acquired 25% stake in online real estate portal PropTiger for $30 million, in November last year.
– Earlier in 2014, Info Edge had raised Rs 750 crore through qualified institutional placement to invest in its online real estate business 99Acres. (Read: How 99Acres plans to use the $120 million it has raised)
Both 99Acres and MagicBricks.com (owned by the Times of India group*) claim to be leaders in the online real estate listings space (and disagree on who exactly leads, based of different interpretation of traffic data).
– Indiaproperty.com had also raised $12 million from Bertelsmann and others.
Quikr has a slight advantage in terms of reach, as it claims to have over 30 million monthly unique users and is present in 940 cities in India (as of September 2014). However, success in the online real estate segment is not dependent on just reach. Quikr is essentially a platform that connects brokers to potential home buyers or those looking to rent an apartment. But a dedicated real estate portal, as we have witnessed through the new products and services launched by other players in the space, is much more than just a medium of connecting with brokers. It’ll be interesting to see what new features Quikr offers home buyers and if it moves beyond the classifieds model.
*Disclaimer: Gaana.com, which is operated by the digital arm of the Times of India group, is an advertiser with MediaNama.