Bengaluru: NoBroker Technologies Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which directly connects landlords with house hunters said it raised $10 million in a Series B funding led by Singapore-based BEENEXT venture capital firm created by Teruhide (Teru) Sato.
Other investors Digital Garage, BEENOS, Qualgro, Mamoru Taniya of Asuka holdings and existing investor SAIF Partners also participated in the round.
The funding will be used to strengthen its technology team, enhance product offering and grow its customer base, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. NoBroker had raised $3 million in Series A from SAIF Partners along with Fulcrum Ventures in December 2014.
Recently, online real estate firms have had to raise funds at lower valuations to stay afloat in a sluggish market. Online classifieds firm Quikr India Pvt. Ltd acquired real estate portal CommonFloor for around $120 million in a distress sale in January. Locon Solutions Pvt. Ltd‘s Housing.com managed to raise Rs.100 crore in the same month. The Mumbai-based company’s talks to raise $100 million from Chinese conglomerate and investment firm Fosun International Ltd did not materialise earlier in August.
Founded by Akhil Gupta and Amit Kumar Agarwal, the brokerage-free property search portal eliminates the middleman in property transactions. The company says its customer base has grown from 35,000 to 650,000 in the last 12 months.
“We have seen this growth despite us moving from a free to a subscription-based fee model. This shows the customers’ need and acceptance of a brokerage-free real estate platform. Our revenue is doubling every month. Focus is to build a profitable business by breaking-even next year,” said Amit Kumar Agarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, in a statement. NoBroker offers services in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Chennai.
The company says it helps customers save around Rs.15 crore in brokerage charges every month. The technology route to eliminate brokerage fees has also seen traditional brokers clash with companies like NoBroker’s in the past. In September, a large group of local brokers attacked NoBroker’s office in Bengaluru stating that the company was stealing brokers’ livelihoods.
“It was a very challenging two months for us. In hindsight, the incident helped by increasing our motivation and building a sense of togetherness inside the company,” Agarwal said.
The residential rental market size in the top 20 cities of the country stands at around $6.5 billion and is expected to rise to $17 billion in the next five years, NoBroker said.