Flipkart has teamed up with its largest investor Tiger Global to invest about Rs 76 crore ($12 million) in online home rentals startup Nestaway marking its third investment in new ventures this year. Bengaluru-based Nestaway—founded by a team of four graduates from the National Institute of Technology in Suratkal—is an online marketplace for home rentals that targets unmarried professionals looking for accommodation in the metros.
"From showing the house to approving tenants, completing agreements to collecting rent; everything happens online," said Jitendra Jagadev, cofounder Nestaway who said his company will use the latest round of funding to expand to more cities and improve its technology platform.TheTradeBoss reported in May, that Nestaway was in talks with Tiger Global and other investors to raise its next round of funding. Flipkart confirmed the investment while Tiger Global could not be reached immediately for comment.
Online accommodation aggregators are proving to be the next big bet for investors. Flipkart, which bought a stake in WeHive in January and coinvested in online freight-booking service Zinka, is actively scouting for more buys. Experts are of the view that this trend is in keeping with the model adopted by global technology firms including Google and Facebook. "A lot of startups have new technology and solutions which these larger companies will look to tap to increase their own business and reach new customers," said Raja Lahiri, partner at consultancy Grant Thornton.