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Peer-to-peer property listings startup NoBroker raises $3 mn in Series A round

Peer-to-peer
property listings startup NoBroker has raised $3 million in Series A funding
round to expand its service to more cities beyond Bombay and Bangalore.

According to a
TechCrunch report, SAIF Partners and Fulcrum Ventures also participated in the
round. Last year, the startup raised an undisclosed seed round from Saurabh
Garg, an angel investor who co-founded the Four Fountains Spa chain.

Peer-to-peer
property listings startup NoBroker has raised $3 million in Series A funding
round to expand its service to more cities beyond Bombay and Bangalore.

According to a
TechCrunch report, SAIF Partners and Fulcrum Ventures also participated in the
round. Last year, the startup raised an undisclosed seed round from Saurabh
Garg, an angel investor who co-founded the Four Fountains Spa chain.

The
Bangalore-based startup wants to simplify the process of renting properties. It
believes that a peer-to-peer model, facilitated by its site, can slice out property
brokers.

“We feel that a
peer-to-peer chain has to happen,” Co-Founder and CEO Amit Agarwal, formerly
with PWC and ANZ Bank, told TechCrunch in an interview. “[Online property
sites] have become a sort of advertising portal for brokers… yes, you can find
properties on your own, but you still have to pay the broker, he will take his
pound of flesh when you go there physically.”

Agarwal tols
TechCrunch that a broker can pocket 18 percent of the total of an annual rental
agreement via charges to both the tenant and home-owner. He conservatively
estimates that puts the total rental brokerage market at around $4 billion
annually in India — and around $200 billion globally.

Agarwal also
added that a broker tries to shift the least popular inventory first. Most
brokers care about closing a deal, not the right deal, he added.  

In 2013, Agarwal
and NoBroker Co-Founder and CTO Akhil Gupta reflected on their experiences
renting in India and “realized that the fundamental point is to move away from
brokers altogether.”

In addition to
listing properties for rental, they have created an algorithm that Agarwal
claimed can scour the internet to verify that each new sign-up is a prospective
tenant and not a broker — many of whom tap into online rental sites to boost
their business or grab new listings.

NoBroker began
covering Bombay and recently expanded to Bangalore. In Bombay, Agarwal claimed,
the company has 5,000 listed properties.

“There are
around 100,000 flats in Bombay for rental at any given time, and maybe 8-10
percent are posted by owners. So we already have half of that marketshare,”
Agarwal was quoted in the report as saying.

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