Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Oct 26, 2016 11:16 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

How Nestaway is helping millennials find a PG accommodation

The task of finding a house on rent in a big city is a daunting one for working singles, especially in India, where working singles are not always welcome.


Anjali Singh


Moneycontrol


The task of finding a house on rent in a big city is a daunting one for working singles, especially in India, where working singles are not always welcome.


Thousands of listings and no suitable options. Most of the online rental services fail to impress. Poor hygiene, old appliances, waterlogging and power cuts are some of the major pain areas. In most cases, rooms are far away from the one shown on the website.


 To counter the plight of working professionals, Amarendra Sahu, a Bangalore based techie and his team came up with the idea of ‘Nestaway’ in 2015.  


A Ratan Tata-funded, Nestaway offers well-furnished apartments with complete online transaction facility.


“We are trying to solve the problems associated with urban migration holistically by influencing changes in behavior and societal biases on both ends of the funnel. We do believe this is the most comprehensive approach to the problem and one that is unique to us,” said Amrendra Sahu to Moneycontrol.


The idea evolved out of personal experience


“After completing studies, I moved to Bangalore in 2004 and found it tough to find a decent place. I rented a place with some friends which was far from the main city as it was the only cheap and liveable option available for single working men,” Sahu shared. 


“Soon, my sister also shifted to the city. We went from one house to another and were faced with ridiculous questions and suspicions and assumptions.  It so happened that, that very year my friend shifted to the United States and gave me his house keys, he said “do whatever you want with it but just look after my house,” he added.


This gave life to the idea of starting an online accommodation service.


Sahu along with three co-founders - Deepak Dhar, Jitendra Jagadev and Smruti Parida founded Nestaway in January, 2015.


The passion for using design and technology to provide a robust home rental network solutions brought them together – since then there has been no looking back.


How it works


House owners decide the rent, but there is a base minimum threshold quality for owners to follow with basic amenities and hygiene. If not, then that property is not listed on the website.


In order to get an accommodation, the potential tenant has to submit an ID, a permanent address, and proof of employment. The also company takes care of the legal agreement.


Apart from the cash-payment option, one can directly pay the rent on the website. In case tenant doesn’t like the place, they are also entitled to get a refund if they move out within 3 days of shifting.


With a presence in 7 cities, the company boasts of having 7,000 properties listed under it, out of which 5,000 are rented and 2,000 available in the market for occupancy.


The company generates revenue in the form of monthly commission charged from the rent paid by the tenant to the owner. A commission of 12%-15% is deducted on the rent, and the remaining amount is credited in owners account.


“Gaining trust was one of the major concerns while listing a property. We decided to use the internet to solve this problem, we represent owners to the tenants and vice-versa. So that the experience is cherished by both the parties and transparency is maintained,” Sahu said.


At present, the company charges two-month deposit in advance to any tenant, but plans to make it a zero-deposit facility within next 1-2 years.


“The tenant will be able to book a house on zero deposit, similar to credit cards, this, however, is a vision we hope to achieve if our business does well in the coming years,” Sahu added.


The road ahead


With the current pace, Nestaway hopes to have million customers by the year 2020. By December 2017, it aims to list 50,000 properties on the portal. And, two years down the line it aims for 200,000 properties.


“We are fighting to provide decent independent accommodations for working bachelors and there is actually no chance of missing us,” says Sahu.


Backer by investors such as Flipkart, Tiger Global Management and IDG Ventures India – Nestaway Technologies has so far received a funding of USD 43.3 million. In February 2016, it also received an angel investment of an undisclosed sum from Ratan Tata.

The Banglore-based startup competes with existing players such as 99acres, MagicBricks, Sulekha, Housing and Proptiger in the rentals classifieds market. However, Nestaway has chosen to focus only on paying guest market. The home-rental market in India’s top 10 cities is worth around USD 10 billion with 10 million renters.

First Published on Oct 26, 2016 11:16 am
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