India: CREDAI, Venture Catalysts partner to set up $100m proptech fund

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

In a move that is sure to disrupt India’s real estate sector, The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) and startup incubator Venture Catalysts have come together to set up a $100-million proptech fund to invest in startups.

The fund will invest in early- to growth-stage startups that have the potential to transform the real estate industry through technology, data analytics, blockchain, AI and augmented reality. It will focus on startups catering to all the major segments of real estate, including residential, commercial, institutional (hotels, schools, hospitals) and industrial (warehouses, factories etc), said a press statement.

The platform will support the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Techade’ initiatives of the government working towards the digitalisation of the estimated $300-billion real estate sector in the country.

“With the rapid development in the proptech domain, the use of AR/VR or AI to help homebuyers expedite the process of closing deals will help provide developers with better liquidity as the processes gradually become more efficient, resulting in enhanced asset returns, decreased friction and increased transparency,” said CREDAI President Harsh Vardhan Patodia.

In the statement, CREDAI said it will provide startups with access to its network base of 13,000+ members from 256 different industrial fields in real estate, such as developers, vendors, channel partners and promoters among others. It will also support portfolio startups with mentorship.

“We are witnessing a revolution as we marked a 15,400% increase in the number of startups as it rose from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 by June 2022. While there has been a remarkable rise in the number of startups, it is integral to support the growth of these innovators to help drive the growth of the sector and even the nation. Also, with the advent of 5G, it is important to provide a platform for rising entrepreneurs to disrupt the industry,” added Boman Irani, president-elect, CREDAI.

Meanwhile, Venture Catalysts has been actively investing in the real estate industry with a portfolio of over a dozen startups such as OYO, Basic, Grexter, Sharenest, Home Capital and Rentomojo, among others.

“Proptech in India has so far been limited to residential marketplaces such as MagicBricks, NoBroker, 99Acres and, among others, but technology is helping cater to all the important aspects of real estate right from searching for a residential property to helping technology plan large industrial spaces,” said Anuj Golecha, co-founder, Venture Catalysts.

“Real estate was one of the few sectors that witnessed the adoption of technology even before the pandemic hit. However, post-COVID era, this adoption has further increased to boost both sales and experience, and hence there is a need for a dedicated fund that would help propel growth in the sector,” Golecha added.

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