Helion may lead $8m investment in Housing.com
Apr 02, 2014
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: Early- to mid-stage, India-focused venture fund Helion Venture Partners may lead an $8 million investment round in Mumbai-based Housing.com, one of the country's hottest technology startups.

Started by 12 IIT-Bombay graduates, Housing is a two year-old map-based real estate portal which helps people rent and buy houses. Seen as a disruptive house hunting site because of its technology backbone and heavy focus on data and analytics, Housing has already raised three rounds of funding since its inception in 2012. Existing investor Nexus Venture Partners may also participate in the latest investment round, which is nearing closure, said sources directly aware of the matter but did not want to be named.
The startup boasts of having on board more than 7,000 property listings from agents and landlords on the site.

Housing was born out of a dire need for better housing and renting options in Mumbai. The founders thought of the venture while they themselves looked for accommodation in the financial capital after passing out from IIT and faced several issues. Famous for being a campus-born startup, Housing's 20-something founders made news last year when they snared 45 IIT graduates during top slots at campuses in Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur and Guwahati even as the venture looks to expand aggressively in India and overseas.

Advitiya Sharma, co-founder of Housing, did not respond to an email query while emails sent to Helion Ventures remained unanswered till going to press. Calls and texts messages sent by TOI to Suvir Sajan, co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners, who is on the company board, did not elicit a response.

Having started off from Powai, home to the prestigious IIT in Mumbai, Housing has now expanded to a network of 11 cities, including Delhi, Pune and Bangalore, among others, and has ambitious targets to take its offerings to 40 tier-2 cities across the country. Distinctly different from the current crop of property portals, Housing boasts of a map-based interface to give its users a location based advantage. It has an in-house data collection and data verification team to ensure authenticity of information being listed on the site.

The portal uses algorithms like lifestyle ratings, child friendliness index, area-based pricing models, price analytics for new projects and business optimization which the startup says will be its long-term differentiators in the online real estate market.


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