Bengaluru: Online home rental start-up Grabhouse has raised $10 million in a series B funding led by Sequoia Capital and Kalaari Capital. The fund will be used to strengthen its presence in its existing 11 cities, ramp up technology and launch new initiatives.

Founded by Prateek Shukla and Pankhuri Shrivastava in 2013, Mumbai-based Cryptopy Technologies Pvt. Ltd. that runs Grabhouse had raised $2.5 million from Kalaari and Sequoia in January. The portal offers broker-free experience to house hunters in both rented and shared accommodation.

“Our key differentiator has always been and will be our technology-lead approach targeted towards making this online experience hassle-free," Shrivastava said and added that there is a science behind house hunting and renting.

She said that they are looking to ramp up technology capability with virtual interface that would bring down the number of people required for the service. Grabhouse currently has around 22 dedicated field experts.

The growing influence of technology has led to clashes between traditional practices of offline brokers and new age start-ups.

Brokers in Bengaluru clashed with online real estate portal NoBroker last month claiming that the latter had adversely impacted their livelihoods. Cab hailing service providers like Ola and Uber have also earned the ire of travel operators and rickshaw drivers. In October last year, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) protested against online retailers stating that e-tailers were putting offline traders out of business.

Grabhouse charges a slab rate of brokerage on closure of rental deals. Shukla said the company charges a fee of around 5,000 for a rental of 25,000 and this could vary. Apart from this, the company also provides consulting services to house owners. The company earned 50 lakh in revenue last month.

Grabhouse gets a monthly traffic of around 4.5 million and is growing at 115% on a month-on-month basis, Pankhuri said. The portal is also looking to bring out two new products within the next couple of months which will have a larger technology interface.

Customers feedback for rejecting houses is data that will help reduce the number of properties to visit before closing deals, the company said adding that it has no plans to monetise this data.

According to census data and companies working in this space, Indians pay roughly $4 billion in brokerage fee for renting houses in the top 25 cities.

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