Peer-to-peer property listing platform NoBroker has raised an additional $7 million to its series B round of funding led by Korean investor KTB Network. The company had raised $10 million from BEENEXT & Digital Garage, along with BEENOS, Qualgro and existing investor SAIF Partners back in February.
NoBroker had also raised $3 million in February last year from SAIF Partners and Fulcrum Ventures. At the time, the company said it would use the funds to expand beyond Bangalore and Mumbai.
The company added that it has served 1.5 million customers till date and that it is adding more than 1 lakh registered customers on a monthly basis. It is also seeing 5 lakh customer connections every month. NoBroker.com recently moved to a freemium subscription-fee based model. It also offers paperwork and documentation services, including lease agreement registration, police verification and society approvals among others.
Founded by Amit Kumar Agarwal and Akhil Gupta in March 2014, NoBroker said it would to expand to 20 cities over the next 2 years. It initially listed properties only in Mumbai, and has since expanded to Bangalore, Pune and Chennai.
That said its main competition will be from brokers and not other online home rental platforms. Incidentally, NoBroker’s Bangalore office was attacked by brokers. Typically, a rental transaction would cost two months brokerage and a resale transaction costs buyers & sellers a combined 4 to 6 per cent of the deal value as brokerage. As such, there is an enormous opportunity for disruption from the existing model. In fact, Info Edge’s CEO Hitesh Oberoi commented on the potential of NoBroker in an analyst call.
“As far as Rentals go, yes, there is an optionality to sort of eliminate brokers, many rental transaction happen on without brokers being involved. But on our platform also, owner can list a property for free, they do not really have to pay to list on our platform,” Oberoi added.
Earlier this month, online real estate portal Housing.com said it will be re-launching rental listings next year. It suspended home rental business in November 2015. It added in a statement that the government’s demonetization move is expected to cause a major slow-down in the home-buying and selling segment. This would likely shift growth to the home rental space, “making it an opportune time to re-launch the rentals business,” the company added.