Real estate portal CommonFloor acquires Flat.to to enter students' accommodation space
Bangalore-based maxHeap Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns the real estate and apartment management portal CommonFloor.com, has acquired Flat.to, a real estate listings site targeted at students looking for rental accommodation, from Mumbai-based Flat Dot To Technologies Pvt Ltd. With this acquisition, CommonFloor plans to foray into the student/bachelor accommodation space, which is fast gaining traction across major metros in the country.
Post the acquisition, Flat.to continues to function as an independent entity. With this deal Flat.to co-founder Aakrit Vaish will exit the company.
Flat.to was founded last year by Gaurav Munjal. Prior to setting up Flat.to, Munjal was a software engineer at 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.
Flat.to is a search portal dedicated to helping students and bachelors find, flats, paying guest accommodation and flat mates across Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kota, Jaipur and Delhi. The portal also provides assistance in finding a flat mate, in case one has already identified suitable accommodation. The firm has partnerships with more 200 colleges in Mumbai and Pune.
In January this year, the firm had raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Aakrit Vaish, director of the mobile app analytics firm Flurry India. Vaish also came on board as a co-founder.
"It has been about 10 months since Flat.to officially launched, with the simple aim of simplifying student accommodation. Starting with Mumbai, we have now helped thousands of students across multiple cities in India find flats and flat mates. Our goal is to be present in every part of the country. CommonFloor's experience in the real estate market and guidance will help take the company to the next level and we look forward to working with Sumit and team," said Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and CEO, Flat.to.
Founded in 2007 by Sumit Jain (CEO) and Lalit Mangal (both have degrees in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee), along with Vikas Malpani, a Computer Science graduate from Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belgaum, Karnataka, CommonFloor combines property search, apartment management and vendor management.
It also facilitates interactions within an apartment community (on the 'common floor' platform) and connects people to relevant service providers. CommonFloor is present in 120 cities and has over 85,000 communities listed with it.
Early this year, Commonfloor.com had raised $10.4 million from Tiger Global and Accel Partners. This was in addition to a $7.5 million funding in Series C from the same investors in July last year.
"By acquiring Flat.to we will now be able to cater to a new segment of the property market—students and bachelors. This is a large segment in the online real estate space with a unique set of needs and requires a different focus. This move gives us a direct foothold in the market backed by a great team that has an experience of operating in this space. Flat.to will continue to function independently with its current identity and Gaurav will continue to head it," said Sumit Jain, co-founder and CEO, CommonFloor.com.
"The acquisition is in line with CommonFloor.com's strategy to own the largest share in the online real-estate space. CommonFloor.com is already the number one player today and this move is aimed to take a lead in some of the adjacent segments. I firmly believe that this partnership will add immense value to us and the online real-estate space in India," said Subrata Mitra, partner at Accel Partners.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)