Softbank has added yet another Indian startup to its kitty. The Japanese investment fund has led a $90 million investment in Housing.com along with Falconedge and other investors, the two companies said in a statement.
This is Softbank’s third big investment in two months, after big ticket buys in shopping website Snapdeal and radio taxi service Ola Cabs. It also invested in Scoopwhoop.com, a curator of Indian online content, along the lines of Buzzfeed.
Housing.com will use the funds to map over 40 million houses across 300 cities in India, Advitiya Sharma, co-founder, told us. The company has raised $121 million so far through five rounds of funding , he added.
“The Housing.com team has a great vision and deep insight into what it takes to build great products, and transform the way people research and transact in real estate,” Nikesh Arora, Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. said in a statement
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Real estate has become the next big destination for investors after e-commerce and taxi companies. In September, Common Floor raised $30 million Series E funding from Tiger Global, while Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp bought $25 percent in real estate search firm Proptiger.com.
MagicBricks and 99Acres are the other big players followed by the likes of IndiaProperty and Makaan. There are also smaller startups like Flat.to and Grabhouse, though CommonFloor and Housing are the ones that have raised venture capital.
New initiatives at Housing
Housing.com plans to add another feature called On-Off buttons for home-owners and agents. These buttons will enable the company to add all the curated houses to its database, and can be activated and deactivated as and when they're available in the market. This will work well for rental homes which frequently come into the market, when leases expire.
Housing also recently partnered with Tata Value Homes to sell their houses. The company had put up houses from four projects for sale, which were showcased on Housing's 3D slice view platform.
"We sold more than half the inventory that Tata had put up for these four projects," said Advitiya. "The gross market value (GMV) of these homes was over Rs 50 crore and was done in five days. We had buyers sitting in U.S and Africa who bought houses on our platform."