Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs has come on board the UC-RNT Fund, an investment vehicle sponsored by Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and the University of California, in a $51 million (or Rs 330 cr) financing round at home rental startup NestAway.
While Goldman Sachs has invested around $19 million through its India and Hong Kong investment vehicle, in a mix of primary and secondary capital, UC-RNT put in $16 million. Existing backers Tiger Global and IDG India too have made investments. NestAway is likely to have been valued at $180-200 million, but this was not confirmed by the company.
Goldman Sachs has so far already made investments in a select few tech startups in India like Pepperfry and budget hotel brand FabHotels. It’s also an investor in companies likes ReNew Power, ex-Godrej Consumer Products executive A Mahendran’s Global Consumer Products, and BPL Medical Technologies.
Chinese conglomerate Fosun had also discussed an investment in NestAway but those talks did not culminate into a deal. The company NestAway was founded in 2015 by Amarendra Sahu, Deepak Dhar, Jitendra Jagadev and Smruti Parida. Its revenue model is the 10-12% commission that it takes out of the monthly rent generated from the property owners in exchange for offering maintenance and upkeep. There is no brokerage that either the tenant or the owner has to pay in this model.
Having raised $43 million so far, it currently operates 15,000 such properties across 10 cities on its platform, clocking Rs 350 cr in gross rentals. The company, through the acquisition of Zenify last year, entered the family rental solution business.
Sahu, co-founder & CEO of NestAway Technologies, said, “With this funding, we shall strive harder to impact not only where people live but also how they live and shall work on community housing and student housing in addition to our existing categories.” Recently, the company introduced One by NestAway, which offers private and shared accommodation inclusive of utility services and maintenance, similar to what OYO is doing with its Townhouse platform.
Niladri Mukhopadhyay, MD at Goldman Sachs, said, “NestAway is at the forefront of using technology and a hands-on, customer-centric approach to solving complex housing market in India’s largest cities.”