Internet-based real estate companies including Housing.com, PropTiger, MagicBricks, 99acres and CommonFloor collectively reported losses of Rs762 crore for the year ended March 31, 2016. The losses of the companies jumped nearly 65% from Rs462 crore in FY15. However revenues of these companies increased to Rs311 crore from Rs173 crore in 2014-15. The growth in revenues notwithstanding, the consistent losses on the books of these companies might foster consolidation in the space, say industry experts.
In 2016, Quikr acquired CommonFloor to expand its network in the segment. Quikr also acquired agents aggregator Indian Realty Exchange and analytics firm RealtyCompass in 2015 end. Both Quikr and CommonFloor had Tiger Global as their main investor. Maxheap Technologies, promoter company of CommonFloor reported 50% rise in losses to R131 crore and a minor drop in revenues to Rs31 crore for FY16.
Among the most promising housing start-ups in the space, Housing.com too was acquired by PropTiger in January 2017. SoftBank-backed Housing.com was valued in the range of $70-75 million which took the valuation of the merged entity to $270-$285 million. According to stakeholders, Housing.com’s online leads for property complimented PropTiger’s offline operations.
In FY16, combined losses of Housing.com and PropTiger jumped 46% to Rs462 crore and revenue saw more than two fold growth at Rs43 crore. For Info Edge-owned 99acres, losses more than doubled to Rs91 crore during FY16 but revenue improved only marginally to Rs111 crore from Rs110 crore in the previous fiscal. In Q4FY17, the business reported an ebitda loss of R3.5 crore compared with an ebitda loss of R11.4 crore in Q4FY17.
According to Info Edge’s management, the growth in 99 acress moderated due to demonetisation and there are near term uncertainties related to RERA. A report by Credit Suisse noted the cash burn for the company reduced significantly. Samir Jasuja, CEO and founder of PropEquity pointed out that demonetisation in November 2016 further slowed transaction for real-estate companies. “Following the merger and acquisitions, raising capital will be problem if revenues continue to be static and show no growth,” he added.