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Home rental startup Zenify gets pre-Series A funding

Sudarshan Purohit, Kailash Rathi and Ankur Agarwal, Co-founders, Zenify

Sudarshan Purohit, Kailash Rathi and Ankur Agarwal, Co-founders, Zenify

Bangalore-based home rental startup City Synapse Information Pvt. Ltd, which runs Zenify.in, has raised about $900,000 (around Rs 6 crore) in pre-Series A funding from a group of high net-worth individuals (HNIs).

The funds will be utilised to expand its range of services across India and to strengthen its team.

The startup had previously raised Rs 4 crore in angel funding from MSC Srikanth and M Bharath, directors at K12 Techno Service Pvt. Ltd and Atul Jalan, founder and CEO, Mathan Software Service Pvt Ltd.

Founded by three IIT Madras alumni, Sudarshan Purohit, Ankur Agarwal and Kailash Rathi, in 2012, Zenify.in manages the entire lifecycle of a rental agreement. It takes up properties from landlords and rents it out to tenants. The company lists over 1700 residential properties in Bangalore which fetch monthly rentals of Rs 15,000-Rs 45,000.

“Today, India has an untapped market of 4.5 billion for managed home rentals with 4 million unattended NRI properties. We strongly believe that the real estate industry has a lot of potential for change and growth and the impending years will bring about the required changes, the industry so greatly needs,” Purohit, co-founder and CEO, Zenify said.

He claimed that over 90% of rental property booking on Zenify’s platform is done online and that the company will scale its business across the major cities of the country within two years.

The other prominent players in the managed home rental marketplace segment are Nestaway, Zocalo and Homigo.

Nestaway had raised around $30 million (around 200 crore) in a Series C financing led by Tiger Global, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and IDG Ventures India last month in addition to raising an undisclosed amount in funding from Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata in February this year. It had raised Rs 76 crore (approximately $12 million) in funding from e-commerce firm Flipkart and its investor Tiger Global in June 2013.

Zocalo’s CoHo Stayz, a tech platform that offers managed apartments and villas in the Delhi-NCR region for long stays, had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from startup accelerator GSF’s Rajesh Sawhney, MakeMyTrip co-founder Sachin Bhatia and others in August last year.

Homigo recently tweaked its business model to become a managed marketplace as it seeks to expand its services to low-demand areas and reduce risks related to low occupancy.

The Indian online realty market has a number of players including 99acres, MagicBricks, PropTiger, Quikr, Housing.com and IndiaProperty. PropTiger is part-owned by News Corp, which acquired the parent of this website in March 2015.

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