Elara Technologies enters the online-to-offline home rentals market
Elara Technologies Pte Ltd., owner of Housing.com, PropTiger.com, and Makaan.com, announced the acquisition of Gurugam-based tech-enabled rental brokerage platform FastFox.com. FastFox was valued at just under Rs. 100 crores at the time of this transaction. With this acquisition, Elara has entered the online-to-offline home rentals space, which has a market opportunity of over Rs. 20,000 crores. The addition of FastFox.com to its portfolio allows Elara to offer a comprehensive end-to-end service to landlords and tenants, thereby ensuring a significant improvement in consumer experience. Currently, Elara is growing at a market leading rate of more than 60% y-o-y and the new acquisition will further help the company to become the clear market leader in digital real estate in the country.
FastFox.com is an online-to-offline (O2O) brokerage firm that works in partnership with other brokers and landlords to list residential properties online for rental purposes. It allows home seekers to check pictures and access in-depth information about available properties. Beyond listings and search, the company helps schedule house visits to enable quick closure with the landlord. It uses technology to ensure that 100% of the homes listed on FastFox.com are authentic and available for immediate visit and closure. Investors in FastFox include Lightspeed Venture Partners and Blume Ventures among others.
Elara Technologies has built strong technology and on-ground capabilities to offer a range of services to home seekers, home owners, brokers and real estate developers. With the acquisition of FastFox.com, the company aims to go beyond search and discovery for home rentals on its platforms and add on-ground assistance to both landlords and home seekers. FastFox.com has pioneered the revolutionary ‘Open House’ model for rentals in India, in which a house is open for viewing by home seekers for a scheduled period of time. This makes the process of renting convenient for landlords, potential tenants and brokers. FastFox has also built a proprietary matching engine powered by data and machine learning, which ensures that only relevant home seekers go for house visits enabling faster closing of transactions. At present, FastFox.com operates mainly in the Gurugram market and has grown significantly in the last twelve months to capture nearly 5% share of the home rentals market in the city.
Commenting on the transaction, Dhruv Agarwala, CEO Elara Technologies Pte Ltd., which owns Housing.com, PropTiger.com, and Makaan.com, said,“Housing.com is one of the largest rental demand aggregators in India. With the acquisition of FastFox.com, we aim to catalyse our next phase of growth by driving on-ground transactions working closely with home owners, home seekers and brokers. We are already the leading online-to-offline player in the buying and selling of new homes and we will bring to bear our learnings from there on the home rentals market. We intend to use our capital and expertise to expand FastFox’s offering beyond Gurugram to other markets in India.”
Pallav Pandey, Co-founder & CEO of FastFox.com said, “Housing.com’s data, technology and demand generation capabilities combined with the unique on-ground fulfilment capabilities of FastFox.com is the perfect recipe for success in the home rentals market. The future of real estate tech will be radically different from the present and Mukul Bhati, my co-founder, and I along with the FastFox team are extremely excited to be part of building this future along with Elara Technologies.”
Dev Khare, Partner, Lightspeed India Partners, said “We are excited that Pallav, Mukul and the broader team at FastFox.com will now be able to execute on their full-service rental brokerage vision with the Elara audience, including millions of consumers visiting Housing.com, Makaan.com and other Elara properties.”
Sajid Fazalbhoy, Principal Investments, Blume Ventures, said, “We look forward to team Fastfox executing their full stack version of rental under the vast Elara umbrella and seeing the business continue to bring innovations to the online real estate space.”
Dhruv Agarwala further added, “We are very excited about the deal and its potential to transform the home rentals market in India. I would like to welcome Pallav, Mukul and the entire FastFox team to join us in our journey to become India’s leading digital real estate platform.”