NoBroker becomes India’s first proptech unicorn in 2021
An Indian startup that is transforming how millions of people in the country lease or buy apartments is the latest startup to become a South Asian unicorn. NoBroker, located in Bangalore, has secured $210 million in its Series E funding round. Tiger Global and General Atlantic, two previous investors, and Moore Strategic Ventures, co-led the Series E investment round for the eight-year-old firm.
The round values NoBroker, which has raised $361 million to date and includes Elevation Capital and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma as investors, at $1 billion, up from about $350 million in April 2020. According to the founders, there were no secondary transactions — that is, no sales of shares by any existing investors, including the founders — in the latest investment round.
NoBroker assists consumers wanting to buy or lease an apartment bypassing brokers and saving money on brokerage fees. The startup is present in several major Indian cities, including Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad. Over 7.5 million homes are listed on the startup’s website, and over 16 million individuals have utilised its services.
NoBroker has grown into numerous new areas over the years, including financial services (to assist consumers with acquiring rent, for example) and home services such as cleaning, moving furniture needs, and movers and packers. These services are also offered to consumers who have not rented or purchased a property through the NoBroker platform.
NoBroker now offers a service called NoBrokerhood, which allows communities to stay connected while also managing and tracking visits. NoBrokerhood, which also allows inhabitants of the society to purchase and sell products from one another, competes with some of the features of MyGate, which Tiger Global also supports.
“NoBroker’s digital-first approach to efficiently solve renting, buying, maintenance and related needs for real-estate owners, tenants, buyers, residential societies and developers is paradigm-shifting, said Shantanu Rastogi, Managing Director of General Atlantic, in a statement.
“Focused execution with a customer-first mindset of the founders bodes well for NoBroker’s continued penetration in this market solving for the toughest problems. In the future, NoBroker’s product stack will also find relevance in several under-regulated developing markets worldwide. We are excited to be part of NoBroker’s continued success.”
Agarwal and the startup’s other founders, Akhil Gupta and Saurabh Garg, said in a joint interview that the new funds will be used to expand to 50 cities in two to three years, up from six now.
“We are seeing an upward trend in the property buying segment, and this funding will help us deepen our investments in resale and primary sale verticals,” said Garg.
After several high-profile global investors, including Tiger Global, SoftBank, and Falcon Edge Capital, began to double down on the world’s second-largest internet market earlier this year at the height of the ravaging pandemic, India has produced over three dozen unicorns this year — more than all previous years combined.
Tiger Global highlighted India as one of the few areas where it planned to invest billions of dollars in a letter to shareholders earlier this year. SoftBank Group CEO Rajeev Misra stated earlier this month that the Japanese conglomerate has invested more than $3 billion in India this year and plans to invest up to $10 billion in the nation next year.