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NestAway buys rival Zenify to offer home rental solutions to families

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-05-2017 Sayan Chakraborty

Bengaluru: Home rental start-up NestAway Technologies Pvt. Ltd has acquired smaller rival Zenify (City Synapse Information Pvt. Ltd) for an undisclosed amount, a move that will help NestAway expand its offerings for families, the company said on Sunday.

Zenify will continue to operate as a separate entity after the acquisition. The companies did not divulge details of the deal.

“We hope to disrupt and restructure the social infrastructure of housing for both singles and families in times to come,” Amarendra Sahu, co-founder and chief executive at NestAway, said in a statement.

NestAway manages a homeowner’s rental property throughout the rental life cycle, from showing the house to a prospective tenant and closing the rental agreement to collecting rent on the owner’s behalf and assisting the tenant and owner during move-out. The company charges a certain percentage of the monthly rent it generates from the house as commission.

The company, founded in 2015 by Sahu, Smruti Parida, Deepak Dhar and Jitendra Jagadev, started out as an aggregator of shared, furnished apartments for bachelors, before adding full homes for families. It claims to manage more than 10,000 homes in Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.

The company’s investors include Tiger Global Management and IDG Ventures. According to data platform Crunchbase, NestAway has so far raised $43 million from Tiger Global, IDG Ventures India, Flipkart Ltd, former Flipkart executive Sujeet Kumar, Russian billionaire and founder of DST Global Yuri Milner and Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata. The company has also raised about $5-6 million in venture debt from InnoVen Capital.

Its last equity finance, a $30-million Series C round, came in April last year.

According to data from research firm Tofler, NestAway clocked revenue of Rs5.8 crore for the year ended 31 March 2016 while losses stood at Rs37 crore.

Following the acquisition of Zenify, NestAway will have more than 4,000 homes on offer for families, the company said.

Zenify, founded in 2012 by Sudarshan Purohit, Kailash Rathi and Ankur Agarwal, has so far raised about Rs11 crore from a clutch of high net worth individuals and angel investors, including Atul Jalan, founder of Manthan Software Service Pvt. Ltd.

“With the coming together of the two biggest players in the real estate services segment, we will leap ahead of the competition. By making the entire system transparent and value driven, and with a strong underlying philosophy of homes that do not discriminate, NestAway and Zenify will work together to create a strong home rental ecosystem in India,” Agarwal, co-founder at Zenify said in a statement.

A number of home rental and shared accommodation service providers have emerged in the last two years, such as NoBroker, Zocalo, Homers and Homigo among others. Most of these start-ups claim to eliminate brokers, reducing upfront expenses for consumers. However, most of these companies have restricted their operations to a few cities, as against traditional listing platforms such as 99acres.com, Magicbricks.com, Quikr India Pvt. Ltd and its subsidiary Commonfloor.com among others.

The segment has also witnessed consolidation in the recent past. For instance, Quikr acquired Grabhouse in an all-stock deal for about $10 million in November last year.

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