Reliance Group-backed Square Yards raises $20 mn from BCCL, Singapore investors

Reliance Group-backed Square Yards raises $20 mn from BCCL, Singapore investors
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
19 Sep, 2019

Real estate brokerage portal Square Yards, backed by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, has raised $20 million from a group of investors including media house Bennett Coleman & Co Limited (BCCL) and Japanese real estate investment company Genkai Capital.

Steve Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen, founders of Singapore-based property portal PropertyGuru, and Koh Boon Hwee, former chairman of Singtel and DBS Bank, also participated in the funding round. 

Some of its existing investors also participated in the round, the company said in a statement without disclosing their names.

The company plans to invest the fresh funds on strengthening its technology infrastructure, building the brand and expanding to newer geographies in emerging countries.

Founded in 2013 by the husband-wife duo of Tanuj Shori and Kanika Gupta, Square Yards serves the whole property purchase process - from home search till property handover. Its full lifecycle service also includes research, due diligence, selling and financing.

The company claims to have partnered with over 500 top developers for its inventory while it's home loan subsidiary Square Capital has a partnership with over 90 banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

“With the conclusion of this round, more than the capital, what we have truly gained is some very distinguished global expertise on our advisory board. We are very fortunate to have them guide us in our path to create one of the largest consumer tech business emerging out of India.” Shori said.

Square Yards claims to have served over 35,000 customers so far across 10 countries. According to the company, assets worth $1 billion are moved on the platform annually with a revenue run rate of $44 million. It caters to residential and hotel projects, student accommodation and mall redevelopment.

"Future of residential brokerage business will be bata based rather than relationship based where we feel a little worried about transparency and fairness. Square Yards is at the forefront of this tectonic shift and is creating a great system for this innovation to happen," said Masatoshi Matsuo of Genkai Capital.

With the current round of investment, Square Yards’ total equity funding has touched $50 million and debt financing has crossed over $25 million while its valuation for this round is in the range of $260 million - $300 million, the statement added.

In its last known funding round, the Gurgaon-based startup had raised $10 million from the Lohia Group and Andre Hoffman, the chief executive of cosmetics company L'Occitane. A group of undisclosed investors also participated in the round.

Owned and operated by Square Yards Consulting, the startup had secured $12 million from the private equity arm of billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance Group in November 2016.

The company had recently rolled out an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solution called Edge, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that aims to empower the sales and distribution functions of real estate players in India and offshore markets. 

The solution gives users access to Square Yard’s tools and automated workflows in order to facilitate sales, marketing, transactions, mortgage and post-sales service functions.

Edge also serves as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool as it integrates the various stages in the lifecycle of a sale spanning lead generation to going beyond final closure and mortgage facilitation.