Real estate portal Housing, which lists flats for rental and buying in seven cities in India, has added a 'land classified segment' feature that will enable farmers and villagers to list and sell their land on its platform.
"We feel that farmers and villagers need a fair and open market place to sell their land at fair prices. The new feature will be available in 30 days in Pune and its nearby villages. It will be gradually rolled out in other locations as well," said Housing co-founder Advitiya Sharma. In the long term, the firm is looking to cover 10,000 villages across India. Land owners will be charged a fee for this service and the charges will vary depending on the size of the land and its location.
Housing was set up in 2012 by a group from IIT Bombay. It enables real estate brokers to upload unlimited listings on the site while users can search properties for free. The venture is owned and operated by Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd and currently has 30 IIT graduates on board. The service is currently available in seven cities—Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Gurgaon, Chennai, Noida and Ghaziabad. Last month, the firm introduced a lifestyle rating feature on its platform to help users evaluate the overall living experience in a given apartment.
In June this year, the firm secured $2.5 million in a pre-Series A funding from Nexus Venture Partners. It also received two rounds of angel funding from several investors, including Haresh Chawla, former Network18 CEO, and Zishaan Hayath, co-founder of the phone commerce company Chaupaati Bazaar, which was acquired by Kishore Biyani's Future Group a couple of years ago.
In an exclusive video interview with Techcircle a few weeks ago, Sharma said that his firm is building the business on the lines of Zillow, a NASDAQ-listed online real estate database founded in 2005 by Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, former Microsoft executives and founders of the Microsoft spin-off Expedia.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)