After several years of stagnant growth, India’s housing market is set for a recovery that may create new opportunities for startups. One of those companies is HomeLane, which just raised a $4.5 million Series A led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Aarin Capital.
HomeLane helps property owners furnish and install fixtures in their new apartments and houses. The company, which launched six months ago in Bengaluru, will use the new capital to expand to ten new cities, improve its technology, and market its services.
HomeLane competes with other online furniture sellers, like Urban Ladder, as well as brick-and-mortar stores. Founders Rama Harinath and Srikanth Iyer say that their startup differentiates by offering a one-stop shop (it sells everything from fitted kitchens and wardrobes to entertainment units and shoe racks) and providing guaranteed on-time delivery and after-sale services to help homeowners finish projects.
The site allows property owners to upload floor plans, which are reviewed by interior designers who provide product suggestions, price quotes, and 3D pictures of how furnishings and fixtures will look after they are installed.
HomeLane will work with other real estate companies and startups to find customers. Harinath and Iyer say that the home set-up market in India is already worth $10 billion per year in the 10 biggest Indian cities and is estimated to be growing at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate.
They claim that HomeLane is currently growing 100 percent month-on-month and is on track to achieve a $2 million monthly run rate by the middle of this year.
India’s housing market has been hit by low sales and too much supply over the past few years, but is getting a boost from the government, which plans to invest $2 trillion in real estate over the next eight years to create affordable housing.
Other Indian startups banking on a housing boom include CommonFloor, a real-estate listings site backed by Tiger Global, Accel, and Google Capital.