Quikr, the Indian answer to global classifieds site OLX, is in the thick of acquistion news this week. On Monday, Indian media was buzzing with “news” of its acquisition of major property portal CommonFloor. The eight-year-old Bangalore-based startup told Tech in Asia, however, that it was in the middle of fundraising with multiple options on the table and hadn’t finalized any deal.
So when Quikr announced an acquisition today, it made one sit up and take notice. But it isn’t the one you’d expect. The startup it bought is RealtyCompass, which provides real estate analytics.
The acquisition of a tech player in real estate shows that Quikr has some serious ambitions in the space. Indians are, in general, risk averse and therefore the majority of the moneyed still view real estate as the only sure-shot investment opportunity.
Quikr is one of the most highly funded startups in India after a US$150 million funding round earlier this year. A couple of months back it launched QuikrHomes to foray into the high value area of real estate.
Personalized recommendations coming to QuikrHomes
Two-year-old startup RealtyCompass, founded by Nimesh Bhandari, Sankara Srinivasan, and Alok Mishra, uses analytics to help consumers research and compare real estate projects. It has a listing of 15,000 projects from eight cities, with over 100 data points for each project to come up with personalized recommendations. The acquisition will thus bring a new analytics capability into QuikrHomes as it seeks to position itself in the online property space.
“Real estate is a key category for us. We have been developing some innovations that have the potential to reshape the market landscape,” says Pranay Chulet, founder and CEO of Quikr.
This is Quikr’s second acquisition. Earlier, it bought Indian Realty Exchange (IRX), a mobile-first aggregator of real estate agents.
QuikrHomes’ main rivals are CommonFloor and SoftBank-backed Housing which has been in turmoil recently with the sacking if its co-founder and CEO, Rahul Yadav.
Consolidation in this space comes in the midst of a correction in the real estate market following excessive investments into projects. Consultancy firm Knight Frank sees a marked slowdown in the sector with homes remaining unsold as supply exceeds demand in several major cities.
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