ApartmentADDA is an online software for managing apartment complexes. Founded by Venkat Kandaswamy and Sangeeta Banerjee back in July 2009, the company is backed by angel investors like Sharad Sharma, Bhupen Shah and Raghu Tarra of Sling Media. Apartment has now come up with Buzzar - its marketplace feature for neighbourhoods.
Buzzar is accessible to all ApartmentADDA users who are apartment dwellers. They have access to service provides like plumbers, carpenters, tutors, etc. “Users can book services available in their locality, and rate the service for their neighbours’ benefit,” says Sangeeta. Does this feature put them in competition with the likes of UrbanClap? In a way yes, but Buzzar is only for users who are already on ApartmentADDA.
“The orders come from clustered neighbourhoods which is one of the most efficient channels for hyperlocal providers. Also, ratings and feedback from the neighbourhood helps the serious players in specific neighbourhoods grow and retain their customer base,” adds Sangeeta.
ApartmentADDA believes this neighbourhood marketplace leverages the community living and trading that is inherent in Indian culture and Indian user behaviour. The company already processes 2,000 service orders per day, and looking at past history, this number will only go up. In the last one year, its users have paid Rs 720-crore worth of maintenance bills last year using the software (12 per cent of this was paid online). Via Buzzar, users can also find freelancers right from their own society or immediate neighbourhoods. Users can also buy, sell and rent anything from toys to flats from other neighbours.
With ApartmentADDA’s traction, the classifieds and marketplace additions make sense. ApartmentADDA has 3,00,000 apartment residents as users, in more than 8,000 communities across 80 cities in India utilising the app/portal. “We have had 2,51,255 plumbing service orders, 1,59,823 electrical service orders, 34,327 carpentry service orders fulfilled on ApartmentADDA,” informs Sangeeta.
On the ADDA app, apartment residents are using the platform to discuss issues with neighbours, ask or recommend local services, receive day-to-day alerts from the society office, and view and pay their maintenance and utility bills. The classifieds section is something ApartmentADDA is banking on. More than 6,000 freelancers have been added across ADDAs in Bengaluru alone.
The portal/app is free of cost and has everything other than online billing and accounting. The cost of the premium version is Rs 20 per flat for a month. “This gives them a one-stop shop for everything related to their society. It's like a private Facebook + online SAP for each apartment complex,” says Sangeeta. The revenue model for Buzzar is success fee-commission for booking services, and listing fee for premium neighbourhood listings.
In terms of the space, ApartmentADDA is at the intersection of real estate, social networking and hyperlocal services marketplaces. Buzzar, which is into the hyperlocal area has seen frantic activity. UrbanClap has been funded with more than USD 10 million to become the de facto mobile marketplace for local service provides. LocalOye has raised USD five million from Tiger Global and then there are many others. ApartmentADDA doesn’t take on any of these directly and the apartment management space remains reasonably open. Globally, Appfolio is a company that serves as a benchmark.
With a team of 56, ApartmentADDA is mainly present in Bengaluru and Mumbai. The company is looking to raise a Series-A round and envisions to be an app that fulfils all the lifetime needs of a home. “For long, the focus of all real estate startups has only been on selling or renting the dream home. The lifetime needs of the home have been ignored. ApartmentADDA is that one app you need to maintain your home, by leveraging the strengths of your neighbourhood,” says Sangeeta.