SquareYards.com, the Gurgaon-based, realty aggregator, raised $10 million U.S. in the form of convertible notes from a group of high-net worth individuals, including Andre Hoffman, CEO of global beauty brand L’Occitane, and the family office of Kanpur-based Lohia Group.

More than 70 percent of the money was loaned in the form of convertible notes, issued for a fixed term at a pre-determined coupon rate, and with an option to convert into equity (at a discount) at the next round of funding.

Incidentally, the $10-million investment came hot on the heels of $12 million raised as equity from PE arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, barely three months ago. (We covered it at the time). Prior to that, Square Yards had raised $11 million in pre-Series A funding from individual investors in Singapore and Hong Kong, working with asset management and private equity houses.

The new investment takes the total amount of funds raised by Square Yards since inception in 2013 to $33 million. Claiming to be the country’s only online-to-offline (o-to-o) real-estate transaction company, the company plans to use the new funds to expand into new geographies, and strengthen its presence in the ten countries that it is now present in.  

Tanuj Shori, founder and CEO of Square Yards, said, “We wanted to maintain a healthy mix on our balance sheet without diluting too much of equity in this stage of our growth. The new capital will help us accelerate our expansion into new countries. At the same time it will strengthen our existing distribution network in ten-plus countries”. (Here in The Hindu Business Line).

“A part of the investment will go into strengthening the three verticals — NRI market, global real estate, and mortgage broking. Another part will be used to launch new initiatives, such as broker aggregation and property management, Shori said to YourStory.com. 

Square Yards claims a leading position in the transactions space. It currently boasts a net-revenue run rate of around $1.5 million and also claims to have broken the $1-billion mark in gross transactional value (GTV), which is the combined value of properties sold on its platform, according to YourStory.com.

According to IBEF, the Indian real estate market is expected to touch $180 billion annually by 2020. Major players in this space include Times Group-owned Magicbricks, InfoEdge-owned 99acres and News Corp-owned PropTiger.

The latter just acquired SoftBank-backed Housing.com to emerge as the region’s biggest digital player in the realty market.  

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