Elara Technologies owned Housing.com has added co-living spaces and paying guest properties to its service portfolio. The company has partnered with organised players such as OYO Life and Zolo to onboard properties in 12 Indian cities.
It currently has 500K beds under the paying guests/co-living category, which include both organised and unorganised players. The company aims to onboard one million beds by the end of 2020.
Housing.com estimates the co-living market to be worth INR 2 Tn by 2023. It cited the growing migrant workforce and student population in India as the major drivers for this growth.
“Even as student enrollment in Indian universities increased from 34.6 Mn in 2015-16 to 37.4 Mn in 2018-19, only one in six students are able to find university hostel accommodation currently. This demand-supply gap is largely being met by the unorganised sector at present,” said Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO Housing.com, Makaan.com, and Proptiger.com.
But, the organised players are rapidly entering this space and this is destined to hurt the unorganised players’ market share, he added. “Housing.com wants to help these unorganised players in stepping up their marketing and advertising efforts by helping them work on their listings and also providing access to its huge customer base,” Agarwala told Inc42.
Founded in 2012, Housing.com is a real estate advertising platform for homeowners, landlords, developers, and real estate brokers. The company sources its listings through a trained team of data collectors, analysts, and auditors.
Talking of Housing.com’s advantage over other players in the co-living aggregation space, Agarwala said that their information architecture is a big differentiator. The listings are said to include information such as available amenities, food cuisines, security provisions, and any specific rules related to curfew timings, etc.
In addition to this, the company also plans to include a virtual tour of the user’s shortlisted options soon. Housing.com already offers a map-based location search to its users which is beneficial for users searching for accommodation options in a specified region. The company’s co-living vertical will operate on a lead-based commission model.
The company does not plan to enter the standardisation of these properties as attempted by its partners OYO Life and Zolo. Instead, the company plans to become the prime destination for the discovery of rented accommodations by ensuring transparency and simplicity at all levels of the process, said Agarwala.
Housing.com’s parent company Elara Technologies claims to have a monthly footfall of 20 Mn users across all its platforms including Makaan.com, Proptiger.com and Housing.com. The Singapore-based entity raised $70 Mn from NewsCorp and REA Group, earlier this month.
In August 2018, Elara Technology had secured a credit facility of $35 Mn from Citi Singapore. This capital infusion was in the form of a convertible note that is said to cover company’s previous debt funding raised from Citi Singapore. The company is also backed by investors such as SAIF Partners, Accel, and SoftBank.
According to FICCI’s latest report on the co-living, the shared rental accommodation market will expand at an annual rate of 10% till 2023. Existing players in the paying guests’ aggregation space are 99acres, NoBroker, and Magicbricks, among others.