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

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Oct 13, 2021 16 min read
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 NoBroker.

Anything that has to do with real estate, specifically as a purchaser has always been convoluted and annoying. The constant push from the sellers, nagging from the middlemen, lack of fluid communication, and running helter-skelter to get the paperwork done are some of the common horrors from the world of real estate. Was it meant to be this way?

Yes, many of us have pondered on the scene on a number of occasions but without any outcome. Akhil Gupta, Amit Agarwal, and Saurabh Garg also thought of improving this gloomy scenario and founded a solution in the form of NoBroker. Founded in  2014, NoBroker is a Bangalore-based startup in the real estate search domain, which connects flat and property owners with tenants and buyers directly through their platform, thereby making buying, selling, and renting of properties simpler, transparent, and affordable.

NoBroker.in claims to handle around $2 billion worth of transactions on its platform each year and has already helped the Indian real estate customers save over INR 5000 crores in brokerage to date. The platform helped them save around Rs 1,100 crores worth of brokerage in 2020 itself. The company further strives to help the Indians usher in a new era of smooth and easy real estate transactions minus the "brokers."

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Saurabh Garg, Co-Founder & CBO of NoBroker to get insights on the Startup Journey and the Growth Story of NoBroker. Read on to know more about NoBroker, its owner, business model, revenue model, competitors, app, founders, revenue, funding & more.

NoBroker - Company Highlights

Startup Name NoBroker
Headquarters Bangalore
Founders Amit Kumar Agarwal, Saurabh Garg, Akhil Gupta
Founded 2014
Sector Proptech, Real Estate
Elevator Pitch NoBroker is a disruptive brokerage-free real estate portal that enables rent/buy/sell transactions by eliminating the middleman.
Employees 1000+
Total Funding $214.5 million
Website nobroker.in
Registered Entity Name NoBroker Technologies Solutions Private Limited

NoBroker - About and Vision
NoBroker - Real Estate Industry Details
NoBroker - Founders and Team
NoBroker - History and Startup Story
NoBroker - Products and Service
NoBroker - Name and Logo
NoBroker - Business Model and Revenue Model
NoBroker - Startup Challenges Faced
NoBroker - Funding and Investors
NoBroker - Growth and Stats
NoBroker - Acquisitions
NoBroker - Competitors
NoBroker - Awards and Recognition
NoBroker - Future Plans
NoBroker - FAQs


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NoBroker - About and Vision

NoBroker is a disruptive force in the real estate sector that uses innovative technologies to connect property owners, buyers, and renters with the help of a single platform.

Here's what NoBroker has to say about their mission:

Our mission is to lead India’s real estate industry towards an era of doing real estate transactions in a convenient and brokerage-free manner.

NoBroker - Real Estate Industry Details

Indian real estate market, which was valued at Rs. 12,000 crore (US$ 1.63 billion) in 2019 is expected to have steady growth and will be reaching Rs 65,000 crores ($8.83 bn) by the year 2040, as per IBEF estimates. Furthermore, the market size of the real estate sector in India, which was estimated to be around US$ 120 billion in 2017, will be expected to grow to US$ 1 trillion by 2030 and will contribute nearly 13% to the country’s GDP by 2025.

Besides, Indian firms are also expected to raise more than Rs. 3.5 trillion (US$ 48 billion) with the help of infrastructure and real estate investment trusts in 2022 when compared to raised funds, which are worth US$ 29 billion to date, according to ICRA.

The growth of the real estate sector across residential and commercial spaces will be chiefly driven by the growing urbanization of the tier-II and tier-III regions, an increase in the average household income levels, and the rise of nuclear families. Another factor driving this growth will be the increasing shift towards homeownership in the wake of the pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak made people realize the importance of owning a home and the financial security that comes with a valuable physical asset like a house. This changing consumer sentiment will contribute hugely towards changing the market trends.


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NoBroker - Founders and Team

NoBroker Founder
NoBroker Co-founder - Saurabh Garg

NoBroker was founded by Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg.

"I first met Akhil when we were studying at IIT Bombay and Amit at IIM Ahmedabad. Convincing them was not tough, as we had all had our fair share of hassle when looking for properties" says Saurabh Garg, Co-founder & CBO, NoBroker.
  • Amit Kumar Agarwal is the Co-founder and CEO of NoBroker.
  • Akhil Gupta serves as the Co-founder, Chief Tech and Product Officer of NoBroker.
  • Saurabh Garg acts as the Co-founder and CBO of the company.

NoBroker currently operates with a team of 1000+ highly motivated individuals consistently working to offer better services to over 1.25 crore happy customers across Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Delhi-NCR.

owners of nobroker
(L-R) Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, Saurabh Garg

Amit Kumar Agarwal: Co-founder & CEO, NoBroker.in

Amit Agarwal is a banking and finance veteran, with over 15 years of experience in the banking and finance sector in management consulting and strategy. He had previously worked with leading global entities like PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he collaborated with numerous renowned Indian and foreign banks. Besides, he also garnered considerable experience of working with the top CXOs on several critical aspects, including the formulation of business strategy and the enhancement of on-ground profitability. He also displays a successful track record of guiding entry and portfolio strategy along with large-scale policy implementation and has won several industry accolades for his accomplishments.

In his role as the CEO of NoBroker.in, Amit spearheads the organization’s overall vision and direction and is responsible for defining and gilding its corporate strategies. Amit is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and IIM, Ahmedabad.

Akhil Gupta: Co-founder & CTO, NoBroker.in

Akhil is the Co-founder and Chief Tech and Product Officer of NoBroker and has been instrumental in building the foundation for NoBroker’s spectacular growth. Akhil holds a dual degree (B.Tech & M.Tech) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

He leads the entire tech vertical of the company and is responsible for building, scaling, and managing teams along with overseeing the business growth of NoBroker to promise a heightened customer experience. His commitment to efficiency and finding disruptive solutions to the most crucial business challenges has helped NoBroker.in offer some ground-breaking features like the AMP/PWA, WhatsApp chat feature, along with the use of AI and ML to provide rent prediction and recommendations. These were some of the firsts in its league. Many of the products built at NoBroker.in are serve as successful case studies at Google and Facebook.

Furthermore, Akhil also monitors the products of the company and continuously engaged in making necessary amendments and improvements to them. Akhil had over a decade worth of experience before setting forth with NoBroker. He had previously worked with Oracle, where he had led several products in Siebel, Oracle Ebiz, and Oracle Sales Cloud, and was also responsible for filing a couple of patents for the same. He is currently associated with the world’s largest customer-to-customer real estate portal and is anticipating massive growth in the upcoming years.

Saurabh Garg: Co-founder & CBO, NoBroker

Saurabh Garg was also a student of IIT Bombay and IIM Ahmedabad and as soon as he finished his studies, he set out with Hindustan Unilever Limited as a fresh graduate. Saurabh worked for the Sales and Marketing team of HUL and left the company after 3 years. Next, he founded Four Fountains De-Stress Spa, which was his first entrepreneurial leap. Saurabh is still serving as the Co-founder and Director of the Four Fountains Spa, which he founded back in May 2007.

His experience with Hindustan Unilever and as an entrepreneur helped him gain considerable experience. This has further benefitted him in his role as the Chief Business Officer at NoBroker.in. Saurabh's role in the revolutionary real-estate platform is mainly to pursue strategic alliances with real estate developers and corporates to bring high-quality supply and demand at a low cost, thereby expanding the revenue stream. Saurabh contributed largely to building the marketing team from scratch and empowered them to take on new challenges and try new and disruptive solutions without fearing failure. This freedom to experiment is one of the reasons why NoBroker.in has achieved over 1 million app downloads within the first 3 years with surprisingly less marketing costs. The platform also has the lowest customer acquisition costs in the competitive Indian real estate sector.

NoBroker - History and Startup Story

Reminiscing the startup journey of NoBroker.in, Saurabh Garg (Co-founder & CBO of NoBroker) says:

"We established NoBroker.in when we realized that the real estate search and discovery process was fragmented, opaque, inefficient, and full of hassles for the customer. The idea first germinated after the awful experiences that we personally had with brokers while looking for a property. All the other online platforms are also marketing platforms for brokers and it is very difficult to contact owner/seller directly. This dependence on the broker made the experience horrible for the customer. Brokers subject customers to biases, pressures, and manipulations"

He continued -

"Through NoBroker.in, we wanted to empower Indian home-seekers to find a home of their choice in a hassle free manner without paying a hefty brokerage. We did not have a prototype or a model to copy from as this was a solution built for a problem unique to Indian real estate. Brokerage has been an accepted norm for generations and therefore, penetrating the market with as disruptive a solution was not easy. The idea was simple yet bold but we knew that there was a huge scope for it. We launched the website in March 2014. Once the customer understood the unique proposition, there was no turning back for us".

NoBroker - Products and Service

NoBroker.in addresses the gap of information asymmetry that the Indian homebuyers face in its real estate market. It’s disruptive solution connects property seekers with property owners, a process that earlier used to cost as much as 1-2 months of rent or 4% of transaction amount as brokerage. The platform also provides personalized recommendations and assists with decision-making based on real-time data.

"We are the only platform in the C2C space that directly connects tenants and buyers with owners and sellers" Saurabh mentioned.

The platform offers end-to-end one-stop solution for property seekers including services such as rental agreements, movers & packers services, home loans, interiors, special packages for NRIs, relocation services for corporates, remote property management services, etc. It also facilitates online rent payment via credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and UPI wallets.

NoBroker also promises to be a one-stop shop for processing the paperwork and documentation, associated with the lease agreement registration, bank franking, police verification, and society approvals.

NoBroker Home Services - Along with serving as an excellent solution for home buyers and renters, NoBroker also extends a list of useful services for homes, which are:

  • Painting services
  • Cleaning services
  • Home sanitization services
  • AC repair services
  • Pest control services
  • Carpentry services
  • Plumbing services

NoBroker Furniture - NoBroker also offers a wide range of furniture to buy/rent and ease the process online. It helps in installing and free relocation of furniture, swapping old ones with new ones and maintaining them.

The platform’s visitor and community management super app- NoBrokerHood is currently optimizing society living across 10,000 societies in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Jaipur, and Kochi.

"The name had to be simple, self-explanatory and direct. So, when I saw that name NoBroker.in is available I booked it immediately back in 2007" says Saurabh.
NoBroker Logo

NoBroker - Business Model and Revenue Model

NoBroker acts as a digital peer-to-peer platform that allows homeowners/sellers and prospective tenants/buyers to connect directly without the involvement of a broker. It provides a subscription business model to customers who are looking to buy, sell or rent a property.

NoBroker has 3 revenue models:

  • Freemium model for tenants
  • Freedom plan
  • Relax plan
  • MoneyBack plan

Apart from that, NoBroker also offers an array of home services like packers and movers, home cleaning, home painting, interiors, and a lot more. These are also among the notable sources of revenue for NoBroker.


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NoBroker - Startup Challenges Faced

Real estate is a huge sector and a vastly unorganized one. For generations, it had relied on traditional processes, which involved a third party. The history of brokerage services can also be traced down to the earliest establishments of real estate. The team, therefore, focused on the most fundamental challenge faced by real estate customers: the service they were receiving was not commensurate with what the customer paid for it.

As there was information asymmetry, people had no option but to rely on broker services. Real estate platforms have been around for decades and have tried to solve the issue of information asymmetry. However, they couldn’t keep brokers away from the system. This led brokers to exploit the system to their benefit.

"When I – along with my Co-founders Amit and Akhil – formed NoBroker.in, we were determined to use technology to address the gaps in the property discovery creating a platform that was 100% brokerage free" Saurabh added.

Their approach differed from the other online real estate platforms in that they were essentially tying up with property brokers and getting them to list properties on their platforms. On the other hand, the team connected owners with sellers and tenants with buyers directly. Because of this approach, NoBroker's value proposition found a favorable reception with the customers. NoBroker has the highest number of owner-listed properties.

It bootstrapped for quite a few months. Getting investors to believe in its proposition was a challenge because the team did not have an existing successful model to convince them back them.

"But we were sure of our resolve and our solution, and the needle moved when we raised our first $20 million" Saurabh exclaims proudly.

The pandemic ironically offered a shot in the arm as people could not use offline services and relied heavily on online platforms to search and finalize a house. One way or the other, the value-conscious Indian customer has realized and appreciated NoBroker's unique proposition and helped it grow.

NoBroker - Funding and Investors

NoBroker has raised a total funding of $214.5 million to date. The company raised $30 million from its Series D round led by General Atlantic on April 16, 2020. Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Anand Chandrashekharan, ex-Facebook are among the angel investors in the company. Tiger Global, General Atlantic and BEENEXT are some of the popular investors fueling the brand.

NoBroker is looking to raise around $80 - $100 million from a bunch of new and existing investors, as per the reports dated October 13, 2021. With the successful completion of the upcoming round, the company is estimated to be valued at over $750 million.

The Funding and Investors' details of NoBroker is as follows -

Date Amount Stage Investors
April 16, 2020 $30 Mn Series D General Atlantic
November 5, 2019 $10 Mn Venture Round General Atlantic
October 1, 2019 $50 Mn Series D Tiger Global
September 11, 2019 $51 Mn Venture Round Tiger Global Management
June 5, 2019 $51 Mn Series C General Atlantic
June 4, 2019 $2.5 Mn Debt Financing Trifecta Capital Advisors
December 19, 2016 $7 Mn Series B KTB Ventures
February 24, 2016 $10 Mn Series B BEENEXT
February 23, 2015 $3 Mn Series A Fulcrum Ventures India, SAIF Partners
March 1, 2014 - Angel Round -

NoBroker - Growth and Stats

NoBroker.in helped Indian real estate customers save over INR 5000 crore in brokerage to date. The platform continues to witness more than 20,000 people finding a property through NoBroker in a month. It has 1.25 crore registered users across Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi-NCR, making it the world’s largest P2P real estate platform. The platform also caters to the commercial property segment.

Its visitor and community management app, NoBrokerHood, currently caters to residents in more than 10,000 societies across Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi – NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Jaipur, and Kochi.

NoBroker had witnessed quite a funding, which amounted to around $129 million in the last fiscal ending in March 2020 and that too from marquee investors of the likes of Tiger Global and General Atlantic. All these funds resulted in a 2.1X growth of the company in FY19 and paced it well to FY20. Some other growth statistics of the company follows below:

  • The online real estate rental startup witnessed its revenue from operations jump to Rs 63.34 crore in FY20, which was only Rs 18.08 crore in FY19. It shot up by 250.3% in just 12 months.
  • NoBroker Pay, launched at the end of FY19, helped in generating around Rs 23.8 crores in revenue for the company. This accounted for around 37.6% of the annual revenue earned during the fiscal year 2020.
  • NoBroker's main source of operating revenues comes from the sale of its subscription plans, which is responsible for making up around 44% of the operating revenues. The total revenue collected from its subscription plans also saw a growth of 98.3%, from Rs 14.02 crore in FY19 to Rs 27.8 crore in FY20.
  • Furthermore, the income of the company from the rental agreement and subletting also witnessed a growth of around 156.2% to Rs 3.1 crore. NoBroker also earns fees by generating leads for the real estate developers. This income also grew by 128.6% to Rs 3.2 crore during FY20.
  • NoBroker also saw a rise of around 4.5X in the income that comes from its financial assets. This rose from Rs 3.6 crore in FY19 to over Rs 16 crore during FY20.

If we move to the costs incurred by the company, then the expenses the company incurred on employee benefits stand as a major expenditure. This accounts for 42.5% of the expenditure during FY20, which grew by 53.6% from Rs 26.4 crore (FY19) to Rs 76 crore (FY20).

The company had to make payments to payment aggregators in tune with the revenues from NoBroker Pay. This has comprised 14.6% of the annual expenses of the company, which saw an 18.7X surge to Rs 26.2 crore in FY20 from only Rs 1.4 crore during FY19.

NoBroker was seen splurging on its promotions, which made the business promotion costs rise to 3X to Rs 38.5 crore in FY20 from Rs 12.8 crore in FY19. Besides, the communication costs also increased by 3.2x to Rs 15 crore in FY20.

To sum up, the annual expenses of the company witnessed a rise by 181.5% during FY20, which rose from Rs 63.6 crore in FY19 to a little over Rs 179 crore. Therefore, NoBroker spent Rs 2.83 to earn a single rupee of operating revenue in FY20.

NoBroker’s EBITDA margin notably improved in FY20. It was -210.03% in FY19 whereas the same was recorded at -119.7% in FY20. However, the annual losses of the company climbed to Rs 99.6 crore during FY20, which was only Rs 46.5 crores in the previous fiscal, thereby reflecting a rise of around 114.2%.


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NoBroker - Acquisitions

NoBrokerHood acquired Society Connect in February 11, 2020 to integrate the financial module with its services on one single platform and make society living easy and hassle-free.

NoBroker - Competitors

"As mentioned above, what differentiates us from other online real estate platforms is that ours is the only platform that is 100% brokerage free. We are not just enabling property discovery. We are a transaction platform and provide end to end solution. In that sense, we don’t have competition" says Saurabh.

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NoBroker - Awards and Recognition

NoBroker.in is a market leader in customer-to-customer real estate transactions and leading third-party endorsements have recognized the same,

  • NoBroker.in was part of the elite ‘Champions of Change’ with the Prime Minister of India organized by the NITI Aayog.
  • NoBroker.in has been recognized as the “Coolest Startup” by the India Today Group.
  • The company received was distinguished as the most promising startup for 2017, a recognition that it received from the Govt. of Gujarat.
  • NoBroker was also recognized by Forbes Japan as one of the 20 hot startups in India.
  • NoBroker was listed as one of the top 100 startups (36 on readers rating) with gravity-defying momentum to look up to in 2017 by YourStory.
  • NoBroker bagged the Digital Marketer of the Year award by IAMAI in 2018.
  • Most recently, the company received an award at the Emerging Awards by Tracxn where it was declared as one of the topmost companies in Real Estate Tech from across the globe.

NoBroker - Future Plans

The company’s short-term plans involve expanding within India. It aims to expand to 50 cities across the country within the next 2-3 years.

NoBroker - FAQs

Who are the Founders of NoBroker?

NoBroker was founded by Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta, and Saurabh Garg.

What is NoBroker?

NoBroker is a Bangalore-based real estate search portal, which helps connect flat owners with tenants/buyers directly and make buying-selling of real estate simpler. NoBroker removes the need for brokers in real estate related dealings.

How much is the Revenue of NoBroker?

NoBroker's revenue from operations shot up by 250.3% within 12 months to reach Rs 63.34 crore in FY20, which was only Rs 18.08 crore in FY19 .

How NoBroker makes money?

Around 70% of NoBroker's revenue comes from the subscription plans it offers on various packages. Advertisements from furniture start-ups also contribute significantly as NoBroker claims over 2.5 million user visits on its website per month. NoBroker also earns revenue by offering services, such as connecting tenants with movers and packers, drafting rental agreements and extending a wide range of home services.

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