Square Yards and how it’ll unify the real estate market in India

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February 4, 2019

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Indian real estate marketplace, Square Yards, has reported that the company grew 75% in 2018, and has far surpassed the previous year's gross transaction value, which facilitated over ₹1,100 crore (approximately US$153 million) in real estate transactions.

The company also announced recently that its India Primary, NRI and Mortgages business also registered a GTV of around ₹5,000 crores (approximately US$697 million) in the same time frame.

However, back in 2014, the company was only 3 members strong, an underdog that began in Hong Kong. Now, the company employs over 2,200 employees and operates in over 10 countries worldwide. With a presence in 13 international cities, such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto, the company has begun the expansion plans that afforded the growth of last year.

The company then acquired multi-country real estate licenses and entered into collaborative arrangements with leading International developers. Through these agreements, Square Yards were able to secure exclusive and territorial selling rights, permission to conduct events and road-shows and facilitate e-commerce transactions.

Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Vivek Aggarwal, the co-founder of Square Yards, To know more about the company’s journey from a nimble startup to an unstoppable force fueled by data analytics and proprietary technology.

Background

The firm’s primary business models were real estate and mortgage terminations. Later, Square Capital sprung up to handle mortgage-related financial services as well. Here, Square functions as a distributor, with their primary goal being to tie up with principals. This includes real estate developers and FSIs such as banks. They achieve a worldwide distribution of their products by utilizing PropTech, with their primary source of income being closing deals with principals. This allows them to provide their services without charging the customers, thus increasing their reach.

Agarwal provides insights on the real estate market, stating, “Traditionally, real estate and mortgages are slow to adopt the technology. They are not really using technology at scale. From the very beginning, we were clear that we would bring technology and analytics and scale our business based on these fundamentals. We were able to very successfully do this over the last few years, and our entire business now runs on tech.” This, according to Agarwal, is one of the key differentiators that allows them to bring innovation to the market. The other is execution, he says. This sets Square apart from the incumbents and other startups in the market, as they have executed the business based on strong business fundamentals and sticking to the unit economics.

Agarwal details that real estate was the primary focus of the company was starting with real estate, with mortgages coming later. He said, “The idea was to understand the value chain. So as to better control the product selection, reduce our own tax for disbursement, and pinpoint some pain points.”

Read more here

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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.