Online home rental sector sees major consolidation; NestAway acquires Zenify

8th May 2017
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Two-year-old online home rental aggregator NestAway today announced the acquisition of home aggregator and rental management company Zenify for an undisclosed amount.

With this acquisition, NestAway, which focusses on providing homes to single men and women, will start offering homes to family tenants as well. Currently, out of NestAway’s 25,000 tenants, only 1,000 belong to families. NestAway will now have over 4,000 homes for family tenants to choose from, in addition to the 10,000 homes it already has.

(L-R) Deepak Dhar, Jitendra Jagadev, Amarendra Sahu and Smruti Parida

A press release from NestAway states that this acquisition solidifies the startup’s position by making them 10 times larger than its nearest competitor in the managed home rental space in India.

“Consistent to our vision of inspiring trust in matters of home rental, we are happy to expand not just our services but our philosophy to family tenants. We hope to disrupt and restructure the social infrastructure of housing for both singles and families in times to come,” said Amarendra Sahu, Co-founder and CEO, NestAway Technologies.

Zenify will continue to maintain its identity and operations as an independent brand (under the umbrella of NestAway).

"With coming together of the two biggest players in the real-estate services segment, we will leap ahead of the competition. By making the entire system transparent and value-driven, and with a strong underlying philosophy of ‘homes that do not discriminate’, NestAway and Zenify will work together to create a strong home rental ecosystem in India.” said Ankur Agarwal, Co-founder at Zenify.

Growing a new idea in two years

It was in late 2014 that Amarendra, Deepak Dhar, Jithendra Jagadev, and Smuti Parida—friends from NIT Suratkal—set out to make houses available at two months’ rent in deposit, without an interview with the owner, something that comes as a bonus for youngsters.

NestAway's investors are an interesting mix.

Officially launched in January 2015, Bangalore-based NestAway caters to customers who are primarily in the 22-30-age category. Their homes provide cot, mattress, sofa, TV, refrigerator, washing machine, and a furnished kitchen. A tenant can rent just a room, or the whole house. The owners decide the rent and, generally, charge per person around Rs 7,000-Rs 8,000. Their commission is 12.5 percent of the total rent.

From support while moving in, to maintenance and rent payment, everything can be done through NestAway’s app. It provides 1BHK apartments to 8BHK premium villas with swimming pools.

One step closer to profitability

High immigrant population in certain cities presents a business opportunity for long-term rentals. NestAway, which is already present in eight cities, is set to start service in Chennai soon.

NestAway will enter a bustling Chennai next.

In an earlier interaction with YourStory, Amarendra had said, “We are already gross-margin-positive, making money in every transaction. Since repeat transaction is inbred into the product, break-even and profitability will soon follow.”

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