The real estate arm of ecommerce marketplace Quikr, QuikrHomes has acquired Bengaluru-based home rental marketplace Grabhouse. With this development, it also announced the launch of its cashless managed rentals solution.
As a part of this deal, Quikr will integrate Grabhouse’s products and technology stack into QuikrHomes while also reaping the strong synergies the business has with its other verticals.
Grabhouse was founded in 2013 by Prateek Shukla and Pankhuri Shrivastava. It is a community-based online exchange for finding rented accommodation which offers a broker-free, transparent experience to house hunters seeking rented or shared accommodation. In September 2016, it was reported that Grabhouse was reportedly struggling to scale up its business and was therefore looking for a buyer.
Talking about the acquisition, Atul Tewari, COO, Quikr said, “We are very excited about the launch of our managed rentals model – it brings convenience to the consumers while eliminating cash from property rentals, and we are excited to start it with the acquisition of Grabhouse. Our business here will also benefit from unique competitive advantages as the Grabhouse target market has a great match with many of our other businesses such as C2C and bikes. On the cost side, the operational costs of the business will directly get shared with our services business.”
As per a company statement, Grabhouse will continue operations as an independent brand for managed rental homes. As part of the overall integration process, its founders and entire team will move to the Quikr HQ.
“Through its multiple verticals, Quikr caters to a large target audience, which opens for us a sea of potential consumers and property owners. At Grabhouse we’ve laid the foundation of a sound cashless business model for house rentals. We foresee a massive business opportunity now, as joining forces with Quikr means scaling quickly to build not just a long-term rentals brand but also enter other new territories,” said Prateek & Pankhuri, founders of Grabhouse.
In December 2015, Grabhouse laid off over 100 employees claiming that it was trying to build stronger technology solutions. Most of these employees were mainly from the operations team. Currently, it operates in 11 cities, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, Chennai and Kolkata.
In October 2015, Grabhouse had raised $10 Mn (INR 65 Cr.) in Series B round of funding from its existing investors, Sequoia and Kalaari Capital. Prior to this, in January 2015 the startup had raised $2.5 Mn in Series A round from Kalaari Capital and India Quotient. In July 2014, it raised $500K in funding.
Founded by Pranay Chulet in 2008, Quikr claims to have a user base of over 30 Mn per month. It is present in 1,000 cities in India and operates across 14 classifieds businesses including mobile phones, household goods, cars, real estate, jobs, services, and education. The last round of funding was raised in August 2016, where it secured $19.4 Mn (INR 130 Cr) in a debt financing round led by Brand Capital, the private equity arm of media company Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL).
In January 2016, Quikr acquired online realty portal CommonFloor in a stock-and-cash deal for $200 Mn. In October 2016 Quikr got a 13% hike in its valuation from one of its investors, Kinnevik AB. In its latest quarterly report, the Swedish investment firm valued its 18% stake in Quikr at $265 Mn, increasing the total valuation to $1.47 Bn. The valuation of Kinnevik’s shares in Quikr is based on the value implied by cash transactions made in secondary Quikr shares with various preferential rights.