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What Made Goldman Sachs Bet Big On This Indian Home Rental Startup? The startup is investing a majority of the fresh funds to expand to other markets and on-board new owners especially NRIs.

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Entrepreneur India
(L-R) Mr. Deepak Dhar (Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer), Mr. Amarendra Sahu (Co-Founder and CEO), Mr. Jitendra Jagadev (Co-Founder and COO) and Mr. Smruti Parida (Co-Founder and CTO)

Every year we witness young people moving to new cities in search of better job opportunities. For them, home rental startups have proved a boon because all you have to do is carry your suitcase and shift. The increasing demand in rental ecosystem caught the attention of Amarendra Sahu, Jitendra Jagadev, Smruti Ranjan Parida and Deepak Dhar who decided to start the largest home rental network in India.

Bengaluru-based NestAway helps urban migrants in finding rental homes of their choice in cities using design and technology. Founded in January 2015, the young startup serves as a one-stop service provider for tenants and house owners.

NestAway recently raised USD 51 million (INR 330 Crores) in series D financing from Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank and UC-RNT fund, a joint venture between Ratan Tata's RNT Associates and the University of California. As part of the round, Goldman Sachs has invested USD19 million through its India and Hong Kong investment arm. The round also saw participation from their existing investors IDG India and Tiger Global.

Expansion to Other Markets:

The startup is investing a majority of the fresh funds to expand to other markets and on-board new owners especially NRIs.

"In addition, we will also be focusing on our new ventures. One is NestAway (co-living space) and other is student housing. With this funding, we shall strive harder to impact not only where people live but also how they live. We are glad that our new partners in this journey share our vision and passion to create unique living infrastructure in this country using design and technology, "shared Jagadev when asked about his plans for utilization of funds.

The Formula For The Perfect Startup Pitch :

Before NestAway got funding, Jagadev and other co-founders were constantly in touch with their existing and new investors on all company developments. Some of the basic processes that the startup went through were creating a pitch deck, identifying the right investors, gauging their interests, and being present at investor summits to generate further visibility for the brand.

While their business model and holistic approach to provide world-class houses and amenities to all tenants has helped them generate interest from the investors, Jagadev says their presence across key cities in India further strengthened their successful pitch.

"Our vision is to create an accessible living and we have been humbled by the market acceptance for our shared as well as family rental solutions. Our constant growth in the business helped us gain the trust of potential investors. In addition to this, significant presence in key Indian markets and newer developments like student housing and One by NestAway further supported our pitch," he said.

Jagadev believes the media outreach and brand campaigns have further helped in generating brand visibility not only among their customers but also among the investor community.

Believe In Your Own Idea :

If your startup is looking for funding to grow, then there are few things you can't miss out on. Giving tips for startups seeking funding, Jagadev said if you are looking for an investment, it is important that you believe in your own idea and have a value proposition for customers in place.

"In addition to this, investors are always looking for entrepreneurs who have a keen financial and business acumen. It is important that as a founder to evaluate your idea by all aspects before you present it to your investor(s). Confidence and in-depth knowledge about the industry will provide you with an edge with the investors, making the selection process easier," he added.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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