By Peerzada Abrar
BENGALURU: InMobi founder and poster boy of Indian product startups Naveen Tewari has invested money in online home rentals firm NestAway Technologies along with venture capital firm IDG Ventures India and a few angel investors. The two-month-old Bengaluru-based startup has raised about Rs 8 crore. It will use the funds to launch operations in the National Capital Region and Pune.
“NestAway is a disruptive product creating a win-win opportunity not just for direct stakeholders like owners and tenants but for the society at large by making cities safer especially for young women,” said Naveen Tewari, whose firm sells mobile advertising and analytics technology. “It (NestAway) also contributes to the long-term growth of real estate market in cities by improving yields. It’s indeed a unicorn opportunity,” said Tewari.
Founded by NIT Suratkal alumni Amarendra Sahu, Jitendra Jagadev, Smruti Parida and Deepak Dhar, NestAway has built a managed home rental marketplace. It uses technology to provide better rental solutions to singles in the cities. For instance, it turns unfurnished houses into fully-furnished and managed apartments and provides them at affordable prices to pre-verified tenants.
“Our cities are growing increasingly unsafe. While all of us are to be blamed for it, unfortunately the singles, especially youth, who come to a new city to start their career or search for a job, are worst hit,” said Amarendra Sahu, 31-year-old chief executive of NestAway. “We deny them the houses they deserve because we think they are ‘a ticking time bomb’.
Our goal is to help bridge this trust gap,” said Sahu, who has also founded television technology startup BrizzTV along with Jagadev. A farmer’s son and first engineer from his village Kantio in Orissa, Sahu decided to launch NestAway when his sister couldn’t find a rented home in Bengaluru. “With internal migrants accounting for a third of India’s overall population, there is a large need for affordable and reliable rental housing in the country,” said Karthik Prabhakar, senior associate at IDG Ventures India Advisors. He said that top 10 states in the country account for more than 75% of the urban housing shortage.