NoBroker, a Bangalore-based startup that helps those looking to rent or buy an apartment connect directly with property owners, has extended its previous financing round to add $30 million to it.
General Atlantic has invested $30 million in NoBroker’s Series D round, which the startup unveiled in October last year. The round, now closed at $80 million, pushes five-year-old NoBroker’s to-date raise to $151 million, the startup’s founders told TechCrunch.
NoBroker helps people looking to buy or lease an apartment avoid brokers, who charge a significant fee. The startup has expanded to six new cities in the last three months (now serving a dozen cities in total), and has expanded to new categories including gate keeping, moving and packing, helping tenants secure home loans, formulating agreements between tenants and the property owner, and fulfilling furniture and other decor needs.
The most remarkable thing about this fundraising is, of course, its timing. In a joint interview with TechCrunch, NoBroker’s founders Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg said the investment is an “endorsement” to the faith General Atlantic, its biggest investor, sees in the startup. The new capital will also give enough runway to NoBroker, they said.
Several prominent investors in India have cautioned startups that they might face additional challenges in raising fresh capital as they enter the “worst” times.
NoBroker founders acknowledged that the demand has weakened in the market, but said they were hopeful that it would bounce back as soon as schools reopen, which sees tens of thousands of families move to different cities each year.
New Delhi ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown last month — which it has since extended to May 3 — that has restricted people’s movements and shut schools, malls, theatres and other public places.
“Our plan is to keep adding more properties to the platform, and serve more customers,” said Kumar, who serves as the chief executive of NoBroker. “We also want to grow our other services to become a one-stop solution for all of a tenant’s needs and maintain the market leading position,” he said.
These new categories also allow NoBroker to levy a cut of 10 to 20% on leads it generates. One of the areas that the startup has expanded to is society management, which helps people keep a log on visitors and their approval to enter the premises and stay connected with one another.
This service has been adopted by over 2,000 societies that house more than 500,000 residents. NoBroker recently also partnered with BigBasket to help in grocery delivery.
“NoBroker Pay, NoBroker Hood, NoBroker Home Services and several such innovations are deepening the engagement of owners, tenants, buyers and community residents with its platform making it a go-to-destination beyond its core offering of rental and sale transactions,” said Shantanu Rastogi, Managing Director at General Atlantic, in a statement.
NoBroker has more than 3.5 million properties registered on its platform and has served more than 8.5 million individuals.