Singapore-based digital real estate marketing and transactions services company, Elara Technologies has acquired another Indian startup to grow its presence in the country and a new sector of online-to-offline home rentals.
The company has acquired Gurugam-based tech-enabled rental brokerage platform FastFox at a valuation just under INR 100 Cr ($14 Mn). The FastFox founders and team will be joining Elara Technologies group post-acquisition.
Dhruv Agarwala, CEO, Elara Technologies Pte Ltd, said, “We intend to use our capital and expertise to expand FastFox’s offering beyond Gurugram to other markets in India.”
FastFox: Rental Brokerage
FastFox was launched in November 2014 by Pallav Pandey and Mukul Bhati as an O2O rental brokerage company. The company claims to have more than 2500 verified rental property options in Gurugram.
It allows home seekers to check pictures and access in-depth information about available properties. Beyond listings and search, the company helps schedule house visits to enable quick closure with the landlord. It uses technology to ensure that 100% of the homes listed on FastFox.com are authentic and available for immediate visit and closure.
The company has earlier raised funding from investors such as Lightspeed India Partners and Blume Ventures among others.
Pallav Pandey, cofounder and CEO, FastFox said that Housing.com’s data, technology and demand generation capabilities combined with the unique on-ground fulfilment capabilities of FastFoxis the perfect recipe for success in the home rentals market.
“The future of real estate tech will be radically different from the present and Mukul Bhati, my cofounder, and I along with the FastFox team are extremely excited to be part of building this future along with Elara Technologies,” he added.
Why Acquisition Of FastFox Makes Sense For Elara?
At present, Elara is the owner of Indian online real estate companies Housing, PropTiger, and Makaan. The latest acquisition marks Elara’s entry in the online-to-offline home rentals space, which has a market opportunity of over INR 20,000 Cr.
With the acquisition of FastFox, the company aims to go beyond search and discovery for home rentals on its platforms and add on-ground assistance to both landlords and home seekers.
The company has pioneered the open house model for rentals in India, in which a house is open for viewing by home seekers for a scheduled period of time. This makes the process of renting convenient for landlords, potential tenants and brokers.
Also, FastFox has built a proprietary matching engine powered by data and machine learning, which ensures that only relevant home seekers go for house visits enabling faster closing of transactions.
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian real estate market is pegged to touch $180 Bn by 2020, with the housing sector alone contributing 11% to the country’s GDP. According to another IBEF report, 35% of the population is in the young age bracket (15-35 years), which is further driving the online real estate industry in India.
This growth has further led to consolidations of major companies in the online real estate space, giving good exits to startup founders in an otherwise competitive market.
Update: April 3, 2019| 11:20 AM
The earlier version of the story erroneously stated that Elara Technologies had acquired CBIX, however, that’s not true. The story has been now been corrected. The error is regretted.