[Funding alert] NoBroker.com turns unicorn after raising $210M in Series E round
Proptech startupsaid it has raised $210 million in its Series E funding round, with its valuation crossing $1 billion and making it the latest entrant to the coveted unicorn club.
The funding round was led by General Atlantic, Tiger Global, and Moore Strategic Ventures.
NoBroker.com, which has now become India's first proptech unicorn, said it will use the funds to grow its community app and marketplace NoBrokerHood from 10,000 societies to one lakh societies over the next two years; improve its tech infrastructure; invest in its home and financial services; integrate AI/ML to make the process of finding and listing a rental hassle-free, and deepen its investments in resale and primary sale verticals.
The startup also told YourStory that it will put the latest capital infusion towards expanding into more metro cities — at least 15 in the next three to four years — as well as explore Tier-II smart cities.
"Our focus from Day Zero was building in a robust revenue model and not chasing vanity metrics. We had a revenue model in place before we went all-out, and our customers have rewarded us for that," Amit Kumar Agarwal, Co-founder of NoBroker told YourStory in a conversation on Twitter Spaces.
The startup, like most other proptech ventures, saw its business declining during the lockdowns last year as well as during the second wave — but now that the threat is abating, the demand is coming back, Saurabh Garg, NoBroker's Co-founder and Chief Business Officer, told YourStory.
"Especially with schools, colleges and offices reopening, we're seeing a massive increase in rental demand. Buying and selling of property have also picked up," he said.
"For us, it's important that we're able to simplify the entire journey for a customer — right from finding a rental house, finding a reliable and affordable packer and mover, to being able to use a single platform to pay rent and access society marketplaces. That has enabled superior customer experience at NoBroker," Saurabh added.
Founders of NoBroker in an interaction with YourStory's Shradha Sharma
NoBroker.com has nearly 75 lakh properties registered on its portal, and more than 1.6 crore people have used its services, it claimed.
Founded in 2013 by Akhil Gupta, Amit and Saurabh, NoBroker.com enables users to not only look for brokerage-free houses on rent, but helps them move, get home loans, avail cleaning and home painting services, pay rent, and access legal services, among others.
The idea of NoBroker.com was borne out of co-founder Saurabh Garg’s bitter experience while searching for a house in Mumbai. Unable to find a house without having to pay brokerage on classifieds and rental platforms, Saurabh said that this was an Indian problem that needed India-specific solutions.
"NoBroker’s digital-first approach to efficiently solve renting, buying, maintenance, and related needs for real-estate owners, tenants, buyers, residential societies, and developers is paradigm-shifting," said Shantanu Rastogi, Managing Director at General Atlantic.
"Focused execution, with a customer-first mindset of the founders, bodes well for NoBroker’s continued penetration in this market solving for the toughest problems," he added.
Going ahead, NoBroker wants to become a one-stop shop for customers for their real estate needs, the founders told Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory Media at TechSparks 2021.
The startup has raised $361 million in funding, so far, and currently operates across six cities.
"The billion-dollar valuation is definitely a milestone for us, and it certifies that the mission we're on is credible. It's still just the start for us though," Akhil told YourStory.
The Indian startup ecosystem has added 36 new entrants to the coveted $1 billion valuation club over the last ten months. Some of these include category-leading companies such as(B2B commerce), (fintech), (SaaS), (logistics), (automobile), (B2B commerce), (fintech), (sales enablement), upGrad (higher education), and , among others.