CommonFloor, an Indian real estate search engine and listings site based in Bangalore, has raised $10.4 million from existing investors, Accel India and Tiger Global in Series D funding.
The new capital will be used to expand beyond property listings and offer information on related products, including home decor etc., the startup said in a statement. The latest funding brings the total money raised by CommonFloor to around $17.9 million. In July last year, the startup had raised $7.5 million from the same investors.
There are over 150 million Internet users in India, most of whom are looking to buy, rent apartments, and even sell things online. Real estate listing startups such as CommonFloor, Housing.com and MagicBricks are targeting the country’s rising middle-class population planning to buy and rent houses across major Indian cities. Many of them are already depending on these sites to not just conduct initial research, but also buy houses. Last year, during the Great Online Shopping Festival (India’s version of Black Friday/Cyber Monday) Tata Housing sold some 50 apartments online.
Internet users in the country making transactions online are expected to touch 38 million by 2015, according to this research by Ernst & Young.
“We have seen phenomenal growth in the past 2 years on every possible parameter – be it financials, visitors, advertisers or engagement. In fact, our topline has continued to grow by over 100% quarter on quarter since last year,” said Sumit Jain, co-founder of CommonFloor.
Launched in 2007 by Jain, Lalit Mangal and Vikas Malpani, CommonFloor now has over 75,000 projects listed on its website, it said in the statement.
The real challenge for CommonFloor and several other real estate listing sites will be to offer more personalized solutions, instead of just being a search engine. This will require investments in data analytics and developing newer offerings.
A good example to illustrate this would be to look at what startups such as Zillow and Urban Compass are doing in the U.S. — not to blindly copy what others are doing (because these markets are quite different), but more in terms of enhancing the services.
New York-based Urban Compass for instance, combines its home rentals platform with a hyperlocal social network to help users not only find their next apartment but also discover everything else they need in order to turn their apartment into a home.