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CommonFloor invests $2.5M afresh in room share app Flatchat

FlatchatFlatchat, a mobile-based platform that connects flat owners with flat-mates, has raised $2.5 million from real estate portal CommonFloor.com, the company said on Tuesday.

Flat.to Technology Pvt Ltd, which runs Flatchat, plans to use the money to increase headcount and scale up operations across the country. Flat.to was acquired by CommonFloor last year.

“The rentals problem, especially for bachelors and students, is a tricky one, and we always believed that the best way to solve the problem is not with having more listings or a better user interface but a behaviour change in the way owners and seekers communicate, real-time. And that’s how Flatchat came into existence…” said Gaurav Munjal, co-founder.

Founded in September 2014 by Munjal and Hemesh Singh, Flatchat helps students and bachelors find accommodation and flat-mates in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Munjal, an engineer from NMIMS, Mumbai, had founded Flat.to, an accommodation finding platform for bachelors, in April 2013.

Previously, Munjal has worked with firms such as Directi and Metacube. Singh, a graduate from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (Allahabad), started his career with Flat.to.

“This segment has a good growth potential and Flatchat’s unique and technology-centric operating model is a differentiating factor which seamlessly connects seekers and owners on a real-time basis with a chat based platform,” said Sumit Jain, co-founder and CEO, CommonFloor.

Flatchat claims to have crossed over 50,000 users across both Android and iOS platforms. It says over 350,000 messages were exchanged on the platform last month.

CommonFloor, founded in 2007, combines property search, apartment management and vendor management. It also facilitates interactions within an apartment community (on the ‘common floor’ platform) and connects people to relevant service providers. The portal is free for end-users but the firm charges businesses for listing, marketing and advertising on its site.

India’s online property search market has evolved radically over the last few years. The leading companies in this space are SoftBank-backed Housing, News Corp-backed PropTiger and Tiger Global, Accel Partners and Google Capital-backed CommonFloor besides the legacy players – Times Internet-promoted MagicBricks, Info Edge’s99acres.com and Chennai-based IndiaProperty.

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