Confirming media reports that surfaced late last year, home rental network NestAway on Thursday announced that it had raised close to $51 million (Rs 330 crore) in Series-D financing from global investment bank Goldman Sachs, as well as UC-RNT Fund, a joint venture between Ratan Tata's RNT Associates and the University of California, and Schroder Adveq. This round also saw participation from its existing investor IDG India and Tiger Global.
The company plans to use the funds for expansion and to enter newer categories like community and student housing. The company also plans to foray into student housing from this academic year onwards, starting from Delhi north campus and Pune.
Founded in 2015, NestAway is a rental solution catering to the needs of individuals looking for affordable rental housing in the top 10 cities in India. Further, with their acquisition of Zenify in May, the company also recently entered the family rental business.
Earlier, in April 2016, the company had raised a Series C round of $30 million led by Tiger Global, with participation from Yuri Milner (founder of DST Global), IDG Ventures India, and Sujeet Kumar.
Under its operation, NestAway acts as a broker as well as property manager for homeowners by helping to find tenants, collect rent and manage the property over its lifetime in exchange for a percentage share of the rental stream.
At present, the company claims to cater to over 35,000 tenants and 16,000 owners, including over 7,000 family owners in Bengaluru, Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Noida, Mumbai and Pune.
On this fundraise, Amarendra Sahu, Co-founder and CEO, NestAway Technologies, said,
“Our vision is to create accessible living using imagination and empathy and we have been humbled by the market acceptance of our shared as well as family rental solution. With this funding, we shall strive harder to impact not only where people live but also how they live and shall work on community housing and student housing in addition to our existing categories.”
Commenting on their investment in NestAway was Niladri Mukhopadhyay, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, said,
“NestAway is at the forefront of using technology and a hands-on, customer-centric approach to solving complex housing market in India’s largest cities. We look forward to partnering with them to bring greater levels of convenience, transparency and service to both homeowners and home-renters throughout India.”
The company quoted the latest Census, in that around a million homes remained locked as owners could not find an easy and seamless way to rent their homes.
Further, it highlighted the fact that unlike western markets, managed lease service (popularly referred to as MLS) is absent in India, which causes challenges for owners, especially for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to remotely manage their rental properties.
NestAway offers structure and content insurance of up to Rs 1 crore to every owner, which protects them against tenancy linked damages to the property.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report the residential rental market in India is pegged at $20 billion, of which urban spaces account for $13.5 billion.