NoBroker: Creating A Dalal-Free Real Estate Ecosystem In India

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Anything that has to do with real estate, specifically as a purchaser, is convoluted and often, annoying. The constant nagging by middlemen and sellers, lack of fluid communication, and running helter-skelter to get the paper work done are just few of the obstacles in the world of real estate. However, there's a shining light at the end of this real estate tunnel! NoBroker, a Bangalore based real estate search portal is connecting flat owners and tenants/buyers, directly and making selling and buying real estate simpler. Here is how NoBroker is changing the face of real estate industry in India.

NoBroker - Company Highlights

Startup Name NoBroker
Headquarters Bengaluru
Co-founders Amit Kumar Agarwal, Saurabh Garg, and Akhil Gupta
Sector Real Estate
Founded 2014
NoBroker Logo

About NoBroker & How NoBroker Works
NoBroker - Founders
NoBroker - The Idea
NoBroker - Business Model
NoBroker - Revenue Model
NoBroker - Growth / Revenue
NoBroker - Funding / Investors
NoBroker - Competitors
NoBroker - Future Plans

About NoBroker & How NoBroker Works

As the name suggests, NoBroker’s vision is to remove the need for brokers in real estate related dealings. The portal eliminates the presence of middlemen who are known to eat away exorbitant amounts from the purchaser in the name of commission. NoBroker does not charge any brokerage from either parties. Founded in 2014, the company claims to have nearly 70 lakh cumulative customers, and is operational in 6 cities: Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi NCR.

NoBroker also introduced a crowdsourcing feature through which users can put up rental listings. This way, anyone can click and upload picture of any TO-LET board with the genuine owner details. NoBroker also pays people in case a conversion happens.

The NoBroker team has analysed the entire value chain of house hunting and replaced everything that a broker does with technology, a differentiation from other online real estate portals. It gives smart recommendations to customers based on real-time data and assists in informed decision making.

The user has to give a missed call or leave a WhatsApp message for property listing. An executive then calls and helps him/her list the property. Potential tenants can then go through listings using specific search options and filters. They can then directly contact the landlord to close the deal. One can also make custom rental agreements on NoBroker. The portal has gone as far as removing certain listings that discriminated on gender and religion. NoBroker services can be accessed both form the company's website and the NoBroker app. The NoBroker app allows users to look for property, list property, find flatmates, communicate with potential buyers/sellers/tenants and much more in a hassle free manner.

NoBroker - Founders

NoBroker was founded by IIT(Bombay) and IIM Ahmedabad graduates—Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg. The NoBroker owners realized that brokers do not add value in a real estate transaction and still charge massive fees.

Akhil Gupta is the Chief Tech & Product Officer of NoBroker. An alumni of IIT Bombay, Akhil worked as an engineer at Oracle, and as a technical lead at PeopleFluent, a Software-as-a-Service talent management solutions provider, before joining NoBroker.

NoBroker CEO Amit Agarwal, is an IIT Kanpur graduate. He has had several stints; he was an analyst with Cognizant, a principal consultant at PwC, and the associate director at Australia New Zealand Bank Group, before starting his own venture.

Saurabh Garg is the CBO of NoBroker. He's also the co-founder and director of The Four Fountains Spa. Saurabh is an alumnus of IIT Bombay.

Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg
Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg

NoBroker - The Idea

The idea came from pathetic experiences with brokers and the unavailability of a favorable solution. NoBroker was founded because the co-founders (Agarwal and Akhil Gupta of IIT Bombay) believed that paying hefty brokerage wasn't necessary for finding a new home. The idea of NoBroker was conceived in late 2013 and the website was launched in March 2014.

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NoBroker - Business Model

NoBroker is a peer-to-peer site that allows home owners/sellers and prospective tenants/buyers to connect directly, eliminating the need for a broker. NoBroker offers a subscription model for tenants/owners as well as the property owners/sellers.

NoBroker - Revenue Model

NoBroker makes money in two ways:

First, by attracting advertisements from furniture start-ups (it claims over 2.5 million user visits per month). NoBroker also earns revenue by offering services such as connecting tenants with movers and packers, and drafting rental agreements.

Besides, NoBroker offers various packages as per various requirements of house owners/ sellers and tenants/buyers who are looking for house. The price of these packages varies on the basis of the services included in the package. As revealed by the founders, 70% of NoBroker's revenue comes from subscription plans.

The rental agreement services provided by NoBroker has made life easy for both tenants and house owners. This is how NoBroker helps you in getting your rental agreement done-

  1. It Prepares draft of Leave & License agreement between both the parties as per legal requirements
  2. After approval from both parties, NoBroker team gets the document stamped
  3. Execute the agreement between both parties
  4. Enter the agreement details online for registration
  5. Book an appointment on your behalf
  6. Complete the process on registration day with you.
  7. Once the agreement is done, the same is sent to the tenant's/ house owners address be it a weekday or weekend.

NoBroker - Growth / Revenue

NoBroker recorded a 465.7% rise in revenue to Rs 6.28 crore in FY17 as compared to Rs 1.11 crore in the previous fiscal. Whereas the company’s losses jumped to Rs 23.59 crore in FY17, a 67.9% increase from FY16. It had posted a loss of Rs 14.05 crore in the previous fiscal. Employee benefits accounted for the highest expenditure of Rs 16.19 crore for NoBroker in FY-17. In the fiscal year 2018, NoBroker's revenue from operations was Rs 8.6 crore , while the company recorded loss of Rs 31.4 crore.

As per 2019 data, NoBroker adds around 1.5 lakh new properties to its website and closes on a average 15000 properties every month. While 85% of the properties listed on the NoBroker platform is for rentals, around 15% is listed for sale. As said by NoBroker owner Amit Kumar in an interview, the company is adding 280,000 new users each month.

The major factor for NoBroker’s fast paced growth is the ‘click and earn’ program it runs to incentivize individuals who add listings on the website. Users that run into a property listed offline simply take a photo of the building and send the details. On receiving the info, NoBroker’s team follows up on the lead and calls the owner. If the property is listed, the user who snapped the first photo is compensated with 100 INR (around $1.50) in their PayTM wallet. The feature itself is responsible for around one-third of all new listings on NoBroker, a highly impressive statistic!

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NoBroker - Funding / Investors

NoBroker has raised a total funding of over $132.4 million in 8 rounds till date. Below are the details of NoBroker funding and investors -

Date Stage Amount Investors
March 2014 Angel round Undisclosed Saurabh Garg
February 2015 Series A $3 Million Fulcrum Venture India & SAIF Partners
February 2016 Series B $10 Million SAIF Partners, BEENEXT, Digital Garage,Beenos Partners &
December 2016 Series B $7 Million SAIF Partners, BEENEXT, Digital Garage & KTB Ventures
June 2019 Debt Financing $2.4 Million Trifecta Capital Advisors
June 2019 SGeneral Atlanticeries C $51 Million SAIF Partners, General Atlantic, BEENEXT &
October 2019 Series D $50 Million Tiger Global Management & General Atlantic
November 2019 Venture Round $10 Million General Atlantic

As reported in July 2019, NoBroker was valued at $311 Million. As such, after the investment made in the company by Tiger Global Management and General Atlantic in October 2019 and November 2019, NoBroker' estimated valuation is around $371 Million.

NoBroker - Competitors

NoBroker is up against some formidable rivals in the Indian property segment. Top competitors of NoBroker are SoftBank backed, and PropTiger (which has received funding from News Corp). Other competitors include Quikr, Magicbricks and 99Acres.

NoBroker - Future Plans

NoBroker has immediate plans of expanding within India, but it also has its eyes set on the overseas market. The company has a firm belief in expansion as the path to reap dividends. NoBroker is aiming to reach 20 cities in India in the nest 2-3 years. The company is also looking forward to close 20,000 to 25,000 transactions every month by the end of FY 2020.

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About Chayanika Goswami

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