Accommodation rental site for students Flat.to raises angel funding, comes out of beta
Mumbai-based Flat Dot To Technologies Pvt Ltd, which has launched Flat.to, a real estate listings site targeted at students looking for rental accommodation, has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Aakrit Vaish, director of the mobile app analytics firm Flurry India. As part of the investment, Vaish will be joining the startup's board as chairman.
At Flat.to, students can input their college names to find nearby accommodation and room-mates. Once a user types in the name of the institution, the site will come up with agents and owners nearby who rent out properties to college students. The site was running in beta for the past three months and is now fully functional.
The startup was founded by Gaurav Munjal (CEO) in April 2013, although the concept came to him a year earlier when he was looking for an accommodation.
Currently, the portal covers Mumbai and has partnered with colleges like Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Thadomal Shahani Engineering College (TSEC), and a student exchange organisation called AIESEC. After consolidating its operations in Mumbai, the company will expand into Bangalore and Pune.
"After capturing the Mumbai market, we plan to go to other college towns such as Pune and Bangalore within three months," Munjal told Techcircle.in. During the three-month beta stage, the site has listings of around 150 flats/rooms, he claimed.
Munjal also said that the startup is looking to hire around 12 people, mostly in sales, by August this year. At present, Flat.to has a team of 6 and will hire people for sales, engineering and marketing.
Prior to setting up Flat.to, Munjal was a software engineer at a web products firm called Directi. In 2010, he also founded the e-learning portal Unacademy, which streams free educational videos online. Munjal holds a degree in Computer Engineering from NMIMS, Mumbai.
"The market is begging for a product like this and it has been further validated by the unprecedented demand we have seen in the beta phase," said Vaish of Flurry India.
He recently participated in the funding round of Bangalore-based startup DataWeave Software, which raised seed funding worth Rs 1.5 crore ($270,000) from Blume Ventures, TLabs (Times Internet), 5ideas Startup Superfuel, Meta Studio Advisors (a private investment company formed by two professionals â€“ Aakrit Vaish and Miten Sampat) and a group of angel investors, namely, Rajan Anandan, Pankaj Jain, Bharathram Thothadri, Krishna Mehra and Abhishek Gupta.
Vaish also invested in Tookitaki, a social audience discovery and retargeting platform operated by Kolkata-based startup Social Audience Pvt Ltd. The company raised Rs 12 lakh in angel funding in January 2013.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)