When you are young and restless, what do you do? Because we discuss startups at YourStory, the answer to that question is obvious. But some startups like Housing.com give a new meaning to that phrase. Since its launch in June 2012, Housing.com has been home to a bunch of youngsters on a treadmill churning out new features, getting a hotline, and expanding across cities.
The latest from the real estate startup is the launch of PG (paying guests) feature on the site. This feature is a result of continual data mining done by the startup to understand user behavior on site. “Our Data Science Lab (DSL) analyzed that in our price slider, a large number of people were applying in the low range. Our research showed that these are mainly youngsters who are looking for low-end rentals aka PG,” shares Advitiya Sharma, co-founder, Housing.com.
At present, the startup is focusing more on women as they face problems getting good accommodation in a new city. Advitiya says the new feature was launched to help youngsters and they are not looking for much revenue contribution to come that way.
Launched over a month ago, Advitiya says brokers and home owners on Housing.com have welcomed the PG feature and many have already listed their apartments in the space. The feature is available to citizens of Mumbai and Bangalore, as “these demographies have a huge influx of new population and are also the toughest cities to find accommodation in,” explains Advitiya. They will roll out the feature in other cities in the near future.
Since launch in 2012, Housing.com has expanded operations to 10 cities across west, south and north India. The platform claims Advitiya has seen 100% month-on-month growth since launch and boasts of 7,000 agents and landlords listing on the site. He claims they receive anywhere between 75,000 to 80,000 unique visitors per month and have many testimonials from satisfied customers who could find a place, thanks to the portal.
The startup has also received three rounds of funding since its launch. Seed round of Rs 50 lakh from angel investor Zishaan Hayath, another round from ex-Network 18 honcho Haresh Chawla and the latest was their first round of institutional funding from Nexus Venture Partners.
Housing.com has grown steadily and today competes closely with entrenched players like 99acres and Magic Bricks. Broad economics playing in India has resulted in the real-estate market take a hit, and for players operating in the space out-of-box thinking will be a key to driving results.