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

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

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 is a Bangalore based real estate search portal that connecting flat owners and tenants directly. The portal eliminates the presence of middlemen who are known to eat away exorbitant amounts from the purchaser in the name of commission. The company does not charge any brokerage from either parties. Founded in 2014, the company claims to have over four lakh genuine owners and home seekers. It is operational in 5 cities: Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, and Gurugram.

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

NoBroker - Mission And Vision
NoBroker - Founders
NoBroker - The Idea
NoBroker - Product and Services
NoBroker - Business Model
NoBroker - Revenue Model
NoBroker - Growth
NoBroker - Funding
NoBroker - Competitors
NoBroker - Future Plans

NoBroker - Mission And Vision

As the name suggests, NoBroker’s vision is to remove the need for brokers in real estate related dealings.

NoBroker - Founders

NoBroker was founded by IIT(Bombay) and IIM Ahmedabad graduates—Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg—they 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. He was the engineer at Oracle, and the technical lead at PeopleFluent, a Software-as-a-Service talent management solutions provider. Akhil has studied from IIT Bombay.

Amit Agarwal is the CEO of NoBroker. 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. He is a graduate from IIT Kanpur.

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 as well.

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.

Relevant Read: MyGate - Offering Security Solutions For Gated Societies

NoBroker - Product And Services

The company 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.

NoBroker says it 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 - Business Model

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

NoBroker - Revenue Model

NoBroker generates revenue in two ways:

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

NoBroker began monetizing its service using a freemium package: for tenants, the subscription starts from Rs 999 which provides 25 leads, while the Rs 1,999 plan comes up with a relationship manager. The company also supplies the required legal documents which are customized for each rental agreement and are then sent directly to the tenant’s address, be it a weekday or weekend. It is far more flexible than broker-led agreements that require a pain-staking visit for the tenant to the broker’s office during the week.

For owners, NoBroker offers a similar plan starting at Rs 2,999. It also has a freemium model with basic features.

NoBroker - Growth

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. Currently, NoBroker claims to close a few thousand subscribers every 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!

Collectively, NoBroker claims about 1 million users interacting with the platform on a monthly basis. It also asserts an addition of 180K users every month.

Relevant Read: 100Pillars Constructions - Making Construction Easier Than Never Before

NoBroker - Funding

Total funding amount: $20 Million

In the recent funding round, NoBroker raised $10 million (series B) led by Japan based BEENEXT venture capital firm and Digital Garage. Singapore-based Qualgro, Asuka Holdings’ Mamoru Taniya, and existing investor SAIF Partners also participated in the round.

Before this funding session, NoBroker raised $3 million in Series A from SAIF Partners along with Fulcrum Ventures in December 2014.

It has also been angel funded by Saurabh Garg (Co-founder of Four Fountains De-Stress Spa) who acts as a mentor for the NoBroker team.

NoBroker - Competitors

NoBroker is up against some formidable rivals in the Indian property segment. SoftBank backed Housing.com, and PropTiger (which has received funding from News Corp) are the top rivals. 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.

Author image

About Shubham Kumar

Founder @StartupTalky. IIT KGP grad. Learner. Dedicated to the service of the startup Ecosystem. Love meeting people. Let's connect - [email protected]
  • Bangalore