Real estate portal CommonFloor has introduced a locality virtual tour on its portal last week. This feature offers a virtual walk through of 100 neighbourhood localities across Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, aimed at an ambitious goal of letting a user select a property in half a day. The company intends to add 400 more localities across 10 cities in the next 6 months. Currently only available on the web, the company plans to launch on mobile web and the app soon.
The tour will include a 360 degree view or a street view of the mapped location on Google Maps, which it hopes will eliminate the user’s need to visit the location in order to get an idea of the civic infrastructure, healthcare, shopping and entertainment, education, safety and dining facilities.
This move, which focuses on beautiful looking websites/design, is likely to force other players/competition to upgrade their websites, not just their design but also their offered features.
Virtual tour for property listings
In May this year, CommonFloor has introduced a virtual tour for resale and rental property listings which would provide users a 360 degree view of the property. The tour would display the property from wall to wall and ceiling to floor. The company said that the idea behind this was to display the entire house virtually, saving property hunters the trouble of physically going and visiting the house. Launched only for Bangalore, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, CommonFloor planned to roll this feature to 18 other cities by March 2016.
CommonFloor Retina for 3D listings
In February this year, CommonFloor introduced CommonFloor Retina, a virtual reality initiative, to let users view listed real estate in 3D. The platform supported Android phones LG Nexus 4 and above, Moto G2, Samsung Galaxy 4 and above, MotoX and the Xiaomi Mi3. A user would also need to have a virtual reality headset similar to Google Cardboard to view the Retina listings. Users would need to download at least one of the CommonFloor Retina apps– each property was a standalone app- to browse multiple properties.
CommonFloor’s investment, funding and acquisition
Last month, CommonFloor invested $2.5 million in Flatchat, an app which lets students and bachelors find accommodation and flatmates. With this investment, CommonFloor has essentially increased its stake in Flat.to.
In January, CommonFloor raised undisclosed amount of investment from Google’s late stage growth fund Google Capital. This was CommonFloor’s third investment round in the past year, which included $30 million from Tiger Global in September last year and Rs 64 crore from Tiger Global and Accel India in January last year.
In the same month, CommonFloor also acqui-hired the Bangalore based messaging startup Bakfy for an undisclosed amount. The company had previously acquired student accommodation portal Flat.to to enter into the student and bachelor accommodation segment in April 2014.
In March 2013, it had launched an Android app called CommonFloor Property India, that let users search properties for buying or renting. The app offered an augmented reality-based search functionality which allowed users to hold the app in camera mode and browse through property listings within 2.5 km radius of their current location.
Founded in 2007 by Sumit Jain and Vikas Malpani, CommonFloor claims to have over 100,000 residential property listings and over 500,000 active property listings from over 200 cities along with mapping 10 million homes on its portal.
Edit: The number of active property listings has been changed to reflect the correct number.