An idea born from a desperate house-hunt, a profitable biz today
Into his last semester at IIT Mumbai, Advitiya Sharma got his placement offer in December 2011. Three years later, armed with a $100-million investment from Japan’s Softbank, Sharma is busy giving job offers to 150 IITians.business Updated: Dec 03, 2014 23:48 IST
Into his last semester at IIT Mumbai, Advitiya Sharma got his placement offer in December 2011. Three years later, armed with a $100-million investment from Japan’s Softbank, Sharma is busy giving job offers to 150 IITians.
Behind this success story is a struggle, and an application that filled a gap. Sharma and his friends, about to move out of the IIT hostel, were hunting for appartments in Mumbai, which was proving an excruciating search. Thus was born the idea that resulted in Housing.com, a portal that facilitates rental and purchase of houses, home loans, registrations and agreements.
Sharma and 11 of his classmates put aside their job offers to create the technology platform.
With a specialty of independently verified photographs of flats to be let or sold, Housing.com created a listing of over 400,000 properties in 45 cities that get 100,000 hits daily. Along the way, in five rounds of financing — SoftBank’s $100 million (Rs 618 crore) is the latest — the company raised $125 million from private equity investors.
Flush with funds, Housing.com is investing in expansion, people and technology. Sharma and his team are trawling IITs for suitable candidates. Housing.com gave offers to 15 students at IIT Chennai. “We will go to IITs in Mumbai, Delhi, Kharagpur and Kanpur too,” Sharma told HT. “We will cover the whole country within a year.” Housing.com is offering Rs 12 -18 lakh as annual salary package.
“When we started we didn’t know we were going to create something big. Our initial thought was the experience would be a great learning. We were just 22 then,” Sharma said.
A few weeks ago, Housing.com bagged an exclusive deal to sell Tata Housing flats online. Other builders are interested. With steady stream of commission from agents, land owners and builders, the portal is already operationally profitable in Mumbai, said Sharma.