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Housing.com secures $19M from Helion, Nexus & Qualcomm Ventures

Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd, owner of real estate portal Housing.com (earlier Housing.in), has secured Rs 115 crore (just over $19 million) in funding led by Helion Venture Partners, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures besides existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.

While Helion invested Rs 48 crore in the company, Nexus and Qualcomm chipped in with Rs 43 crore Rs 24 crore, respectively.

Techcircle.in/VCCircle had first reported in April that Helion is investing in the fresh funding round worth around Rs 110 crore.

The capital will be used to expand the company’s new projects, extend its technology to new platforms besides accelerating its branding and marketing activities.

“Currently, we are listing around 2,000 houses per day. We are now looking to take this number to 10,000 per day and reach a target of one crore listings in the next two years,” Advitiya Sharma, co-founder of Housing, told VCCircle/Techcircle.in.

Housing was set up in 2012 by a group from IIT Bombay. The portal enables real estate brokers to upload unlimited listings on the site while users can search properties for free. Housing currently has 30 IIT graduates on board.

The firm recently added 12 more cities to its platform, including Ahmedabad, Indore, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Vishakhapatnam, Nashik, Vadodara, Mangalore, Trivandarum, Surat, Mohali and Vijaywada to take the total city count to 25.

Housing claims it has already mapped over 80,000 houses in Mumbai, and over 50,000 houses in Bangalore. According to Sharma, this number constitutes more than five per cent of the total houses in both cities.

In June last year, the startup had raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding from Nexus Venture. Prior to that, it attracted two rounds of angel funding. In March 2013, the company raised angel funding from former Network18 CEO Haresh Chawla, immediately after securing an undisclosed sum from a group of angel investors, led by Zishaan Hayath, co-founder of the phone commerce company Chaupaati Bazaar (acquired by Future Group).

Last September, the startup bought the Housing.com domain name as well as a national number 03-333-333-333, for $1 million. The purchase was done as a first step for the company’s international expansion. Earlier, the company had appointed Richa Bansal, co-founder and managing director of online jewellery and fashion accessories retailer 21Diamonds.in, as its chief business officer.

“We find Housing.com to be an exceptionally well-run company and a forerunner owing to its best in class technology, high standard of operating excellence, quality mindset and a very energetic founding team,” said Nexus Venture Partners in a press statement.

Online property search market is highly competitive with various players, including 99acres.com, IndianProperty.com, Makaan.com, Magicbricks.com, Housing.com, CommonFloor.com and Proptiger.com among others. Most of these firms have raised funding over the last couple of years.

Recently, Gurgaon-based real estate broking portal IndiaHomes.com raised Rs 150 crore ($24.9 million) from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Foundation Capital. A few months ago, Mumbai-based Cryptopy Technologies Pvt Ltd, the company behind the real estate portal Grabhouse.com, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from early-stage investment firm India Quotient and MV Krishnan, vice president (corporate treasury sales) at Deutsche Bank.

In December last year, Chennai-based India Property Online Pvt Ltd, which runs an online platform listing residential properties for buying & selling through IndiaProperty.com, raised $12 million from Bertelsmann India Investments and existing investors Canaan Partners and Mayfield Fund.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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