India is one of the fastest growing real estate market in the world, which is not only attracting domestic real estate developers, but also the foreign investors to invest in multi dimensional projects including commercial as well as residential. Besides, the industry is also addressing the demand for built-up space.
According to property consultant Cushman & Wakefield, Indian real estate market is estimated to reach $180 Bn by 2020. In just residential property, the top eight Indian cities will see an additional demand of 2.8 Mn units in the next five years. Earlier in last year, more than 400 Mn invested in online real estate startups.
The segment has seen number of startups joining in to lead the real estate segment in the country and are also seen active in making acquisitions add up to your technology or the customer base. In a recent development, in a bid to add up to its technology, News Corp-backed real estate portal PropTiger.com has acquired Bangalore-based Out of Box Interaction (OoBI). OoBI is a startup that designs digital interactions to help customers visualise products virtually.
Both the companies did not comment on the deal size. However, as per the deal structure, OoBI’s co-founders Atish Patel and Kumar Ahir have sold their entire shareholding in the company PropTiger. com. OoBI’s organisation structure will remain the same and both Patel and Ahir will drive the growth of the company as well as PropTiger.com’s design and innovation business.
Speaking on this development, Dhruv Agarwala, co-founder and CEO, PropTiger.com said, “OoBI has worked on around 200 property projects, and dealt with 45 developers. In terms of synergy, OoBI will help us in enhancing customer experience, while it would gain access to our existing large network of developers. OoBI will work as PropTiger’s design and innovation studio and offer products to engage and inform home buyers.”
OoBI, co-founded by IIT Bombay alumni Atish Patel and Kumar Ahir, offers interactive technology to showcase real estate projects that have so far been displayed using conventional media. As part of its customer-centric innovations, It has devised interactive solutions for businesses ranging from real estate retail sector.
The company counts Tata Consultancy Services, Shapoorji Pallonji, Microsoft, Godrej Properties and Brigade Enterprises among its clients. It has been profitable since its inception in 2012 and looking to expand its team count to 50 in the next two months. OoBI’s current multi-disciplinary team in Bangalore includes engineers, designers and researchers from IIT Bombay with expertise in large interactive screens and 3D visualisations.
“It’s a strategic move for us. Currently, our major clientele is in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai and with this, we will get a pan-India presence. We will retain focus on our core activity of new media interactive solutions, while PropTiger will look into marketing and sales aspect,” said Kumar Ahir, cofounder, OoBI.
Earlier in November last year, New York-based global media and information services company, News Corp had poured $30 Mn for 25% stake in Elara Technologies, which owns PropTiger.com. PropTiger.com is looking forward at more acquisitions that will help it enhance its content and technology and product offerings.
Let’s have a look at some important developments in online real estate space in last one year –
December 2014 – SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. had invested $90 Mn in the Housing.com.
January 2015 – Bangalore-based online real estate platform, CommonFloor.com, had raised undisclosed amount in a new round of funding from Google Capital.
Feb 2015 – CommonFloor.com, an online real estate platform had launched CommonFloor Retina, a virtual reality innovation in real estate that is available to the masses.
March 2015 – Bangalore-based online rental firm NestAway Technologies had received INR 8 Cr. in funding from InMobi founder Naveen Tewari and venture capital firm IDG Ventures.
March 2015 – Housing.com, had announced expansion of its rent and resale category services to 16 additional cities in India. These cities are majorly tier 2 cities including Aurangabad, Nashik, Surat, Vadodara, Dehradun, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Lucknow, Patna, Jamshedpur, Mysore, Goa, and Bilaspur.
March 2015 – Housing.com had acquired online discussion forum for sharing real estate information, “Indian Real Estate Forum” (IREF) for about INR 8 Cr.
With over $120 Bn in revenues, the real estate market is Huge. The huge market opportunity which this sector offers has made the real estate space in India crowded with the existence of a number of players, thus the competition among the players is conspicuous.
99acres, MagicBricks, Commonfloor, Indiaproperty, Makaan are the few players who are dominating the the real estate sector in the country. In terms of engagement metrics, MagicBricks is leading on all front including total pageviews, visits per visitor and unique visitors.
PropTiger.com was founded in 2011 by Dhruv Agarwala, Kartik Varma and Prashan Agarwal. It offers end-to-end services starting from identifying apartment options, organizing site visits, budget and affordability analysis, unit selection and filing of the application with the real estate developer for facilitating the cheapest housing loan. The portal has 121,000 verified real estate properties listed.