Online real estate services portal PropTiger has introduced a new feature on its platform called City Master Plan, which will provide home buyers access to the city’s infrastructural development plan as outlined by the government. So, PropTiger will be gathering such government approved plans from civic authorities and merge them with maps of localities and the properties/projects in that locality listed on its platform, to provide users access to information such as land usage (proposed and current), major roads, linkages, highway development plans, railways, metros, rivers, drains and canals.
The feature is currently live in Noida, Bangalore and Pune, and the company said that it’ll soon be extended to other cities.
The information is divided into three categories – Land Usage, Rails & Metros (current and proposed) and Roads & Highways (current and proposed). Users can select any category and then zoom into the area/locality in the city they are looking for properties in. It also provides a link to the source of the information. For example, in Bangalore the information has been collected from Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
This is potentially a great feature, because often home buyers are completely unaware of what government projects are set to come up or not in the locality. Imagine you book an apartment in a posh locality, get possession of the apartment after a couple of years and then a year later a ugly flyover comes up right next to your balcony. Also, if we look at properties purely from an investment point of view, the information that this feature claims to provide will help one accurately judge the investment potential of the property. Having said that, the usefulness of this feature will entirely depend on how frequently the information is updated, and how up-to-date it is.
– PropTiger had acquired real estate classifieds portal Makaan.com for an undisclosed amount, in April this year. Makaan.com will continue operating as an independent entity as of now. Following the deal, Makaan.com CEO Aditya Verma has started reporting to PropTiger co-founder & CEO Dhruv Agarwala. It’s worth noting that Makaan.com had recently launched areal estate investment section (currently in beta).
– The company had also acquired user interface design firm Out of Box Interaction, also in April. At the time, PropTiger had mentioned that this acquisition will allow it to improve the user interface of its website and to display real estate projects in a more immersive way.
Last month, PropTiger’s co-founder Prashan Agarwal decided to quit the company and pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities. It’s not clear when exactly this will come into effect. The company had also made several additions to the senior leadership team, including appointing former CEO of Karvy Private Wealth Sunil Mishra as the Chief Business Officer, appointing former Director of HR at UTi Worldwide Rohit Hasteer as the Chief Human Resources Officer, and bringing on board former Head of Marketing at India Today group Neeraj Chaturvedi as the Chief Marketing Officer.
In November last year, News Corp had picked up a 25% stake in Elara Technologies that owns PropTiger.com for $30 million. As part of the investment, News Corp Senior Vice President (Strategy) Raju Narisetti joined Elara’s Singapore-based board. For PropTiger, this investment was a strategic one, since News Corp mentioned that PropTiger will able to make use of its digital and product expertise, especially with REA and Move. PropTiger had earlier raised $5 million from Accel Partners and SAIF Partners in April 2012.