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Excl: AngelPrime invests in real estate buying platform SmartOwner

SmartOwner Services India Pvt. Ltd., the company that owns and operates the real estate buying platform SmartOwner, has received an undisclosed amount of investment from AngelPrime, an early-stage investment firm. While the exact amount is unknown, AngelPrime’s usually invests between Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore.

“We are looking at large opportunities in large spaces, and we felt that the SmartOwner fits the bill since it is an exciting idea and has a great team,” said Sanjay Swamy, co-founder, Angelprime.

“While we don’t have a hard and fast rule, on an average, we invest in around 3-4 companies in a twelve-month period,” he added. AngelPrime has already invested in three companies this year.

Bangalore-based SmartOwner  was founded by Vikram Chari (chairman & CEO), Ranjiv Walia (COO), Bala Parthasarathy (Director) and Shripati Acharya (Director). Chari is a graduate of Loyola College in Madras and then the University Of California, where he studied law (Juris Doctor). He is also a major shareholder in CCH USA LLC, one of the fast-growing real estate companies in Arizona. Walia has an MBA from Institute of Management Development and Research (Pune) and has worked at HDFC Bank and ING Vysya. Parthasarathy and Acharya are both co-founders at AngelPrime. The company also has Swamy on its board of advisors.

SmartOwner provides a marketplace to connect buyers to asset sellers. The marketplace is curated to ensure that only the best assets are offered. It identifies locations that are growing due to a large number of new office buildings coming up (resulting in growth in demand for housing) and also evaluates other aspects of an area such as presence of good schools, shopping malls, movie theatres, hospitals, restaurants, etc. Also, unlike real estate funds, SmartOwner does not own any property or decide on the allocation of the buyer’s capital. Instead, it brings to the buyer specific real estate buying opportunities that it identifies as good deals.

SmartOwner has also partnered with a number of firms for its offerings that include J Sagar Associates and MDT Partners (legal advisors), Ernst & Young (tax advisors), S R Batliboi & Co (auditors) and HDFC Bank Ltd (banking and escrow services).

AngelPrime was launched by serial entrepreneurs Acharya, Parthasarathy and Swamy in 2011.

Earlier this month, Mobile payments service provider Ezetap Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd had raised $3.5 million in Series A round of funding from Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital Partnership and AngelPrime, along with a number of other investors. The company had also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from AngelPrime in July 2012.

Prior to that, e-com startup Unamia , which deals with kidswear, raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from AngelPrime. The company then followed it up with a $1.2 million seed round, which was raised from AngelPrime and Blume Ventures.

AngelPrime had also received funding. Social+Capital Partnership had invested an undisclosed amount in AngelPrime early this month. And last month, Silicon Valley-based VC fund Mayfield Fund and a group of unnamed investors also invested an undisclosed amount in the Bangalore-based angel investment firm.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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