Excl: Property Transaction Portal Metroplots Raises Second Round Of Angel Funding
Chennai-based startup Metroplots Pvt Ltd, which runs property transaction portal Metroplots.com, has raised its second round of angel funding from existing investors who are members of Chennai Angels, as well as fromVardhman Jain, a new investor. Although the quantum of investments could not be immediately ascertained, it is believed to be less than $1 million.
"The funds will be primarily used to set up branches in Bangalore, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai. We have already opened our branches in Bangalore and NCR, and will be setting up shop in Mumbai soon. We will also use the capital to increase our team strength in all the four regions where we operate," said Biju Ashokan, CEO of Metroplots.com.
According to him, the investment had been done through compulsorily convertible preferential shares.
Jain, the new angel investor into the company, is the managing director (insurance and business process solutions â€“ India and Manila) at Perot Systems. The existing investors who took part in the second round include Sify co-founder R Ramaraj; Sudhakar Ram, chairman and MD of Mastek Ltd; Babu Thiagarajan, chairman and CEO, QuScient Technologies Pvt Ltd; and Rajeev Mecheri, MD, Mecheri Smart Capital Pvt Ltd.
Set up in June 2009, Metroplots.com helps customers identify and purchase new residential properties. It has an online transaction-based service model where the company partners with developers and banks in the country to provide options for property investors. In turn, it charges a fee (read commission) per transaction from developers, based on the property pricing.
Although the company's USP is its group deals feature, it also provides recommendations to property investors, home loan details and after-sales support.
The company had raised its first round of angel funding in November 2010 from Chennai Angels. As part of the investment, Sudhakar Ram joined the board of the company and continues to represent the investors.
Metroplots was targeting Rs 1 crore in revenues in 2011-12 and according to Biju, the company did hit close to that mark. It gets around 600 enquiries every month, but the firm is now looking to raise this number to 1,000 in the next two months. The company also plans to raise more money to expand its operations to six other cities â€“ mainly tier II cities. As of now, Metroplots has offices in Chennai, Bangalore and Gurgaon, with 30 people on board. The firm will raise this number to 50 by September this year.