CommonFloor.com announced today that it has acquired Flat.to, a real estate service that helps students and bachelors find flats, paying guest accommodation and hostels across Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kota, Jaipur and Delhi. Based out of Mumbai, Flat.to was founded by Gaurav Munjal and Aakrit Vaish in 2013. The portal also provides assistance in finding a flat mate, in case one has already identified suitable accommodation.
With this move, CommonFloor.com is set to enter the student / bachelor accommodation space, which is fast gaining traction across major metros in the country. Earlier this year Commonfloor.com had raised $10.4 million from Tiger Global and Accel Partners. Flat.to currently has a tie-up with over 200 colleges across Mumbai and Pune and offers a choice of selecting an accommodation either through brokers or directly by connecting with owners.
Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, Flat.to said, “It has been about 10 months since Flat.to officially launched, with the simple aim of simplifying student accommodation. Starting with Mumbai, we have now helped thousands of students across multiple cities in India find flats and flat mates. Our goal is to be present in every part of the country. With this in mind, today we are excited to announce that Flat.to has been acquired by CommonFloor.com, India’s largest online real estate platform. We engaged with CommonFloor.com a few months back, and found that their team believed in our vision and shared our values. CommonFloor’s experience in the real estate market and guidance will help take the company to the next level and we look forward to working with Sumit and team.”
With this acquisition Aakrit Vaish, Co-founder, Chairman and Lead investor at Flat.to will exit the company. Sharing his thoughts, Aakrit said, “Flat.to was started with the very simple idea of simplifying student housing. I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve in less than a year of operation, and wish the team all the best as they grow to the next level. I will always remain their biggest fan.”
Subrata Mitra, Partner at Accel Partners (Company that has invested in CommonFloor.com) said, “The acquisition is in line with CommonFloor.com’s strategy to own the largest share in the online real-estate space. CommonFloor.com is already the #1 player today and this move is aimed to take a lead in some of the adjacent segments. I firmly believe that this partnership will add immense value to us & the online real-estate space in India.”
The opportunity for online real estate players in bachelor / student accommodation category is huge. According to a January 2014 research paper, Internal Migration for Education and Employment among Youth in India, commissioned by UN-HABITAT’s Global Urban Youth Research Network, in the last ten years a total of 37 lakh between the ages of 15 and 32 migrated within India on account of education. Similarly, more than 1 crore moved in search of a job.
Launched in 2007 by Sumit Jain, Lalit Mangal and Vikas Malpani, CommonFloor.com, is an innovative online service that combines property search, research, apartment management and vendor management thus catering to a person’s complete residential requirements.Launched in 2013 by Gaurav Munjal and Aakrit Vaish, Flat.to is a search portal dedicated to helping students and bachelors find, flats, paying guest accommodation and flat mates across Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kota, Jaipur and Delhi. From being a product that showed curated flats near colleges, Flat.to has evolved into a complete accommodation solution for students. Acquired by CommonFloor.com in April 2014, Flat.to continues to function as an independent entity.