Gurugram-headquartered proptech startup Square Yards, on Thursday (February 6), announced that it has acquired Mumbai-based rentals and property management platform Azuro.
After the acquisition, the entire team of Azuro, including its cofounders, has joined Square Yards and will continue to operate with the same brand name.
Speaking to Inc42, cofounder and CTO of Square Yards Vivek Agarwal said that while the company was already into the aggregation of new home sales, other aspects such as rentals and property management were missing from the platform.
On the other hand, Azuro, which is managing over 1500 properties in Mumbai, has shown some exceptional growth, especially in the rental space, he added. “We felt that this is a complimentary service to our business which can make our platform a full-stack real estate platform. From selling to renting to managing properties, we now have all under one platform,” Agarwal noted.
Square Yards was founded by Tanuj Shori, Agarwal and Kanika Gupta in 2014. It is a real estate aggregation and transaction platform which enables the complete lifecycle of owning and living in a home including research, due diligence, selling, financing and more. With this acquisition, the Square Yards has now forayed in house rentals and property management as well.
While both rentals and property management are huge opportunities in India, Shori believes that it is currently underserved in India. However, with the Azuro acquisition, Square Yards will scale this business in India as well as in other countries where it operates.
Founded in 2016 by IIT Bombay alumni Altaf Ahmad, Sushant Kumar, Sudhanshu Mishra, Ayush Agrawal and Vishal Chauthmal, Azuro offers rental property management solution. The startup helps homeowners find tenants and verifies them by performing background checks.
Additionally, it helps in taking care of the maintenance of the home by conducting periodic inspections, rent collection, move-in and move-out audits among other things to ease out the whole journey of renting a house for both owners and tenants.
As one of the major factors which are driving acquisitions in today’s startup ecosystem is the technology leveraged by companies in their operations, which has also been the case with Square Yards acquiring Azuro. “They have technologies such as real-time pricing and property management applications for both owners and tenants which brings transparency for both parties. Azuro also has a backend management application which improves the whole experience. All these technologies will now be leveraged by Square Yards,” Agarwal said.
In a statement, Shori, who is the CEO of Square Yards, said that Square Yards is building an integrated intermediary ecosystem for the real estate industry. From sellers to buyers, property agents to brokerage firms, the startup wants all of them to come under one single umbrella.
Explaining how the company is making this ecosystem in the real estate industry, Agarwal said that Square Yards is bringing all the stakeholders on a single platform. Claiming that they are already the largest platform for aggregating new homes, Agarwal added the company also works with other organised brokerage companies as well as real estate agents. “We have a platform called square Connect where we actually aggregate demand from these properties and trade them on our platform to do more business,” he added.
South-East Asia & Beyond
Besides India, Square Yards also operates in nine other countries including Canada, UAE, Australia, and Hong Kong. The startup is looking to expand in South-East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam where the market is quite fragmented right now, Agarwal said. “We will replicate the same model that we have developed in India to these countries as well,” he added.
Moreover, after Azuro’s acquisition, Agarwal said that Square Yards is also exploring to take over other startups which offer allied services to real estate such as home furnishing. “Additionally, we also looking at startups which are offering real estate based technologies to complement our offerings and scale the business,” he added.
With annual revenue of $45 Mn and gross transactional transaction value reaching $1 Bn this year, Square Yards is becoming a key driving force in the real estate industry in India.