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New funds to be used to upgrade technology, build brand and expand geographically: Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO, IndiaProperty.com

Chennai-based India Property Online Pvt Ltd, which runs IndiaProperty.com, an online platform for listing, buying and selling residential properties has raised $12 million in series B funding. The investment round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, the investment arm of German media giant Bertelsmann, while existing investors Canaan Partners and Mayfield Fund also participated.

IndiaProperty was formerly a part of Matrimony.com (earlier known as Consim Info), which runs a string of matrimony-related sites, including BharatMatrimony.com. However, it de-merged from the parent a little over a year ago. It also raised fresh capital of around of $7 million from Canaan Partners and Mayfield Fund upon the completion of the de-merger.

In a chat with Techcircle.in, Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO of IndiaProperty.com, talks about IndiaProperty.com's growth story, its investment plans, and more. Here are the edited excerpts:

Where will you invest the fresh capital?

We will use this investment in three areas. First is technology infrastructure—we would strengthen the technology to make it more robust. Second area is marketing and branding—we would be looking to invest in initiatives to build our brand, while the third is scaling up some of the pilots that we conducted in the last year. We would also be expanding in tier II markets in the country.

What kind of pilots did you conduct?

For instance, we had started assisted property search earlier this year. It is a subscription-based service for end-users. It has received very good traction and we have close to 5,000 paying customers for the service from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. We are looking to expand this service to Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Kolkata, in addition to expanding it globally. Basically, we want to focus on NRIs who are looking to invest back in India. Our property show platform Griha Pravesh has also received good response, and we would scale that up too. Lastly, we are working on enhancing our mobile platform. We also have an augmented reality platform, and will be upgrading that with new features.

How has been IndiaProperty.com faring?

We are the fastest growing player in the sector. Our revenue has grown more than 300 times in the last two years. We get 1.6 million unique visitors monthly (as per comScore data) and have a registered user base of 7 million. We have close to 8 lakh properties listed on our platform as of now and over 4,000 builders advertise on our portal. We recently launched verified property search wherein all properties that are listed on our platform are verified (individuals who upload a property need to provide a mobile number that is verified by us).

Are you planning to add new revenue streams on the platform?

Currently, we have assisted property search, lead generation and advertisements as our main revenue sources. With this capital we will be looking to scale these as well as adding new sources. We are working on a few more pilots, but wouldn't like to talk about it as of now.

It is a very competitive sector. How do you plan to sustain your growth?

It is a huge category with immense growth opportunity. Yes there are at lot of players but we offer very distinguished services. Our 'assisted property search', which already has 5,000 paying customers, shows that people are taking such services seriously. With the next leg of expansion plans in place, we would strongly focus on building our brand further.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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