real estate

Grabhouse, a Mumbai-based online roommate search engine, has raised $10 million (Rs 65 crore) in Series B funding from existing investors Kalaari Capital and Sequoia Capital, reports Business Standard. It will use the funds to strengthen its presence in its 11 cities of operation, technology, launch new verticals and services like virtual neighbourhood specialists and PG and apartment categories.

Founded in July 2013 by Pankhuri Srivastava and Prateek Shukla, Grabhouse claimed to have daily traffic of about 500,000 visitors largely driven through referrals and word of mouth in January this year. As of now, the Business Standard report states that Grabhouse generates monthly traffic of 4.5 million, while last month its revenues clocked at Rs 50 lakh (~ $77,000). It also claims to have blocked 200,000 brokers on its platform, while also incentivising users who report brokers.

Grabhouse makes money by displaying certain details of a house listing and charging the user for the rest of the details, while also charging fees for other services and closing the deal. Early last year, the portal had undergone a makeover and added several features.

In January, the company raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Kalaari Capital and Sequoia Capital, which it would use for developing new products, improve its technology and increase its presence across major cities in India. With the fresh funding, the company has raised over $13 million so far. It had raised $500,000 from India Quotient in July last year, and an undisclosed amount from India Quotient and MV Krishnan of Deutsche Bank in November 2013. It had also raised seed funding from RB Partners’ Chetan Bohra and Navin Ranka in early 2013 when it launched.

Developments in the real estate sector:

– Late last month, online real estate portal Housing.com acquired Plat and BigBHK, before which it acquired HomeBuy for $2 million. In August, Housing let go of 160 employees with plans to focus on its core products. It currently employs 2,600 people and has raised $139.5 million from four rounds funding with a valuation of around Rs 1,500 crore. (Our Housing coverage here.)

– In the same month, online classifieds company Quikr launched a real estate focussed portal called quikrhomes. According to Quikr, this move was a part of its larger plan to have separate verticals for various segments including cars, jobs, electronics and education.

– In July, Nestaway, a Bangalore based online home rentals startup, which was previously a platform for shared accommodation for singles, raised $12 million from Tiger Global and Flipkart. In March, Nestaway had raised $1.25 million from IDG Ventures and angels including InMobi founder Naveen Tewari.

– In the same month,  Flatchat, the app for students and bachelors to find accommodation and flatmates, raised $2.5 million from CommonFloor. With this investment, CommonFloor essentially increased its stake in Flat.to.

– News Corp increased its stake from 25% to 30% in online real estate portal PropTiger in June this year. In April, PropTiger acquired real estate classifieds portal Makaan.com for an undisclosed amount. (Our PropTiger coverage here.)

– In February, Bangalore-based peer-to-peer property listings platform NoBroker raised $3 million from SAIF Partners and Fulcrum Ventures.

– 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. Check out CommonFloor’s other initiatives here.

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

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

– 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.