Commercial networking platform for real estate agents Plabro Networks announced USD 350K funding from Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal. Early stage investment firms Sol Primero, Outbox Ventures and angel investor Sangram Singh have also participated in the round. The funding will be primary used for geographical expansion and product development.
Being a B2B networking and communication solution exclusively for real estate agents, Plabro’s platform helps sharing the inventories and requirements with other real estate brokers. With the availability of data on the platform, an agent has access to current trends in the real estate space helping them make informed business decisions.
Speaking to YourStory, Pankaj Garg, co-founder of Plabro mentioned that the funding will help them fuel their growth to 35 Tier 1 cities over the next ten months. The firm will also invest in improving their data mining capabilities and analytics by adding feedback loops which will provide better insights from the data (on the platform). The company aims to improve the engagement of brokers through introducing new languages and a voice dictation module.
Pankaj spoke about the association with the Flipkart founders:
“There is no strategic investment to this. Their association will help us deeply in channelizing our strategies while helping us scale the business to our requirements. It’s no secret as to how they’ve been able to scale their business and we take them as an inspiration. On the other hand, the funds will give a fillip to our plan to grow geographically and strengthen our infrastructure.”
The 25 member strong team is based in Gurgaon and Noida. Plabro claims to have 3000 active users from the region. According to Pankaj, these users represent 20 per cent and 10 per cent of total broker market in Gurgaon and Noida respectively. The platform is witnessing 600 interactions daily with an addition of 4500 properties every week.
In next ten months, the startup is vying to get an active network of 4 lakh users and capture 25 per cent of the broker market in each of the 35 cities where they will be present. At present, Plabro is a completely free platform with no revenue model in place. The co-founder doesn’t deny that in the future their revenues might come from the commercialisation and insights made from the data on the platform.
The Bansals commented
“We believe that Plabro Network holds the promise of changing the real estate landscape. We are sure that real estate agents, who are an inherent stakeholder in the real estate sector, will benefit tremendously from the application.”
Niraj Singh, Founding Partner at Outbox Ventures is confident about the startup and believes that Plabro is doing something innovative by organizing the real estate brokerage business adding value to the real estate industry through its application, features and services.
According to IBEF, the housing sector alone contributes 5-6 per cent of country’s GDP. Emerging as the second most active segment in the country, the sector has seen US$ 1.2 billion fudning from private equity (PE) investors in the last ten months.
With most ventures starting up to solve issues of end users, Plabro focussing only on the broker community seems like a refreshing change. This is turn is increasingly moving towards providing better insights to their users through analytics.
May 2015, saw Housing do just that. They acquired city-based start-up Realty Business Intelligence for an estimated USD 2-4 million deal to help the firm strengthen their analytics capabilities. This came after their acquisition of Indian Real Estate Forum (IREF) for 8 Cr in March. This move targeted at improving the availability of independent information for home buyers.
We will have to watch what fate Plabro Networks writes for itself in the coming future.
Tarush is driven towards delivering unbiased and accurate reportage while engaging with as many mediums as possible to narrate a fresh perspective. Working for the past few years in the digital space with YourStory, he has covered the Indian technology ecosystem extensively, focusing on new age Fintech companies, while building strong connects within the industry.