Mobile-first, real estate marketplace, Zillion Dreams reaches 50 Indian cities, bids to capture the supply side market

29th Jun 2015
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Zillion Dreams is a mobile-first, self-regulated real estate marketplace. It gives real estate buyers, sellers, agents and builders a platform to connect and chat anonymously. Through the app, users can buy or sell properties, post a flat for sale, find an apartment to rent, buy a new property, select a PG or hostel, and look up new projects, etc. Users can also specify what they are looking for and request bids.

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The founding team

The startup has achieved a critical volume of brokers in the NCR region, and is in the process of achieving the same in 12 major cities across India. They claim to have grown by 100% - from 4000 last week to 8000 plus brokers, with 1200 plus property owners and buyers. Aaditya Bhardwaj, says

The engagement levels are reflected in the 20,000 property and requirement broadcasts in just six weeks on the app. ‘Buy and sell side broadcasts’ per day are now averaging 1000, including all active cities. The platform is clocking around 800 conversations every day.

Idea to execution

After a dinner conversation at a common friend's place that continued deep into the night in 2014, the idea was born. The friends then continued discussing the real estate space, the product, and the execution challenges for a few weeks. Then in January, 2015, Aaditya, Sangeet Aggarwal, Sanchi Arora, Pallavi Nautiyal Bhardwaj and Himanshu Gupta joined forces to formally co-found and start Zillion Dreams.


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The startup has a 15 member-team engaged in data, design, acquisition, support and field operations. Sangeet heads the product strategy and execution. He has 4+ years of prior experience working with product startups. An IIT-Delhi graduate, he was previously the CTO at VMock — a US based product startup in the career development space. Himanshu, an engineer from IIT-Delhi leads tech delivery. He was previously Sr. Engineer at Kiwi, a mobile gaming startup, and NVidia Graphics. A business graduate from CBS, Sanchi leads branding, user acquisition and data support. She previously led marketing at VMock.

Aaditya and Pallavi share a background in the real estate ecosystem. Aaditya has been the Group CEO at Adarsh Group — a diversified group with interests in real estate, telecom software and services, and financial services. Pallavi previously headed HR and Operations at the Adarsh Group."

With some of the Zillion Dreams founders having prior experience in real estate, the team started with the advantage of understanding of the space, and faced no real challenges in terms of user behaviour, or any other sectoral surprises.

Features

The app is an open marketplace for getting leads or posting requirements, and there is no restriction on communication with other market participants. However, users can choose to keep their numbers private and chat anonymously with only those they wish to deal with. The app includes an engine that suggests ideal matches, based on user requirements.

Users can broadcast their requirements and get incoming leads from the market. They can then respond to incoming responses and invites from those interested in their property or vice versa. Based on their profile and requirements, users get active suggestions and the ‘Deal Zone’ allows users to track the market in real-time that helps them make better decisions.

Users can also share properties with leads from other agents on chat to have a more targeted conversation. Aaditya adds: “Real estate brokers are using the app to collaborate with other brokers and reach out to property owners intending to sell or rent out their properties, through our live matching and chat feature.”

Zillion Dreams found that 8-15% of the property owners joining the platform everyday end up broadcasting real estate buying requirements, which is creating a buy-side ‘lead pool’ for brokers. Since the app allows buy-side requirement broadcasts, Zillion Dreams claims to have the largest float of buyer leads available for live matching and contact on any real estate platform in India.

Business model

“While, for the real estate ecosystem we are a marketplace, our business model is focused on the developer-broker interface. The broker channel which represents 90% of primary sales (fresh project sales) and 80% of secondary sale and lease transactions is completely fragmented and disconnected.” says Aaditya.

The startup is currently seeding their product and aims to get the supply-chain side of the real estate ecosystem on board. They have four major revenue streams planned; two revenue streams will be beta launched within two months. It will mainly be around ancillary services such as home loans, developers advertising on their platform, etc. The other two revenue streams are related to the communication and transaction engine modules, and are currently in the development mode.

Competition

Zillion Dreams competes with a specific set of online players for individual value-adds that it delivers. They feel that they are uniquely positioned to capture the important builder-broker interface, and plan to be the first to effectively on-board the dominant broker driven distribution channel to their platform. Aaditya adds,

While there are some emerging apps focussing on the broker to broker collaboration space, their proposition is not relevant to 40% of the brokers who are not interested in collaborating with other brokers, and want to own both the buy and sell side of transactions. Zillion Dreams is further differentiated with the presence of property owners and buyers on the platform, making it relevant to all classes of brokers.

The real estate sector has witnessed a lot of activity in the recent past. Housing.com acquired Realty Business Intelligence for 10 crores, and prior to that, Indian Real Estate Forum (IREF) for 8 crores. CommonFloor.com acqui-hired Bakfy at the beginning of 2015, and News Corp recently increased its stake in PropTiger.com to 30%. Real estate advisory firm, Square Yards, and online portal, Realizing.in merged to capture the NRI market.

Future plans

The startup has been self funded so far, but is in advanced stages of discussions with investors and aims to close its funding round soon. On the product side they will be launching their developer module, B2B communication module, and real estate ancillary services module within a month, followed by the web interface. Developers will be able to activate and engage brokers through the platform, throughout their projects’ life cycle. Aaditya explains,

While we are a mobile first platform, we don’t aim to be mobile only and will be launching our web platform which will be a backward integration of the mobile platform. It is easier to carry out transactions on the web; and also the project marketing teams will need it.

The Zillion Dreams team has spent time and resources on building a pan-India sanitized database of property brokers, owners and developers. They recently went live across 50 cities in India, and aim to cross 15000 users in a week, from their current user base of 10,000.

App: Zillion Dreams (Currently on Android and iOS)

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