Thirty-one-year-old Karan Chopra’s tryst with entrepreneurship began when he was 24. He started his own events company BoxofE, which was into campaigning, events and roadshows for big clients. By 27, Karan was already running an independent real-estate consulting business in Gurgaon.
What really bothered him was the lack of information about real estate in the market. He says it used to take a good five days for brokers to get the desired information about a certain area. Hence, a frustrated Karan thought of creating an information and analytics platform for the real-estate sector.
Within 16 hours of making the decision, Karan flew in to Bengaluru to create what he called PurpleYo.com.
Helping customers find and shortlist properties, the platform is not doing any transactions as of now. Rather, on request it connects the users directly to the developers on their platform. Being absolutely free, the platform has no brokers on their website in a bid to empower users with more information.
Further, the major revenues for the firm comes from the B2B side of the business, where it acts as a marketing tool for other real-estate developers, offering a competitor performance dashboard, their pricing, and comparative analysis of properties, market analytics and e-mail campaign services.
“All properties shown on the website are commercial. As of now, well-known developers like Prestige, ASAF, Vatika Group and Iris Trehan are using PurpleYo’s B2B platform,” Karan says.
Bootstrapped, this 26-member firm updates the information on the platform every 40-50 days.
Having listings from more than 18 cities, the platform lists a total of 21,000 floors approximately split across 2,835 buildings and properties.
With 1,500 big and small developers, the platform already lists 500 of available 900 commercial properties in Bengaluru. The total area of the properties listed on the website is claimed to be 492 million sq.ft.
Karan tells us that dealing with large developers lets them also list business parks on to their platform. The size per floor of these parks can be anywhere around one lakh sq.ft. or more, with close to 282 properties alone showing up at the backend.
The revenue model for the firm is divided between their B2B digital marketing platform and B2C premium user service.
The digital marketing service is charged on Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus plans, depending on the size and number of projects listed by a certain developer. While Gold clients get access to only e-mail campaigning and no market analysis, for Platinum and Platinum Plus users, the price is divided on the size of the developer and the project. The average costing for a B2B client ranges anywhere from Rs 1 lakh to 15 lakh.
According to Karan, the platform billed Rs 30 lakh in revenues in the first month of launch (May 2016) of their B2B digital marketing service.
PurpleYo also plans to introduce a B2C premium user service, which will allow users to get unlimited access to the data on the platform and queries, priced from $100 to $300.
As of now, PurpleYo provides only four user queries on the platform daily. The firm is making Rs five crore annually through its various services.
The firm is looking to list one billion sq.ft. of commercial properties by the end of this year. It is also expecting to on-board 15,000 properties on the platform by then, and looking to beef up its team, to 70 people.
PurpleYo is looking to raise a Series A funding of $10-12 million in the coming months. By August this year, the firm is planning to rent out their co-working fit outs and spaces, which can be leased out to smaller startups can for working. However, the firm does not wish to enter into the business of buying or selling commercial properties.
By December this year, the firm is also looking to enter the South Asian markets, stepping foot in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Although activity in the real-estate sector might have slowed down, one still cannot deny the untapped potential this sector holds.
The Indian real-estate market is expected to touch $180 billion by 2020 because the housing sector alone contributes five to six percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, there are not much solutions in the market that are actively tapping the potential of commercial properties.
By September 2015, the real-estate sector had raised $1.2 billion from private equity investors. Moreover, the construction development sector in India has scooped up foreign direct investment of $24.1 billion between April 2000 and June 2015.
With only 10 percent of the sector tapped into, there is still a lot potential. Information and analytics is an interesting offering in the market, considering a dearth of the same.