It was the spring of 2011 when I moved to Mumbai, the city of dreams. It ceased to be my dream city when I failed to get a place to stay without paying heavy brokerage. Searching an ideal place that suits the budget and the wallet is indeed a challenge to most of us, with very few online options available. It’s not the case with just Mumbai but it’s same with other metros too. Mumbai, however tops the list with the market being broker dominated.
Now as I google more to find a solution for broker free accommodation this catchy name GrabHouse pops up. No Brokers – Only Comfort. Well that’s exactly what the Grabhouse home page says. Are you impressed? Yes, I am too. What more would Mango people like us expect? Story of how the Grabhouse was conceptualized is potrayed in the website and everyone of us who have house hunted in Mumbai could relate to it. Prateek Shukla who is the co-founder and CEO of Grabhouse claims that the people find flats, flat-mates, or tenants within 48 hours.
Grabhouse is in news. Like all the good things it’s also gaining its due. It has raised $500k from India Quotient. Earlier this year, it had raised seed funding from India Quotient and MV Krishnan of Deutsche Bank. Prior to this, it had secured first round of funding from RB Partners’ Chetan Bohra and Navin Ranka. Grabhouse was one of the 10 companies incubated at IQ bootcamp and was also selected for GSF accelerator.
Grabhouse has young enthusiastic team and the USP is that it is 100% brokerage free. It has its presence in four major cities of India – Bangalore, Hyderbad, Mumbai and Pune as of now. These cities are mostly dominated by techie crowd and large number of students who after getting campus placed or in search for a job move to these cities. The biggest challenge which youngsters who are just fresh out of college and have a new job face is the budget constraint and also the time constraint. With the limitations on both budget and time it indeed is a daunting task to get a place on rent to stay. Grabhouse provides a readymade option to search for flats/places/paying guests online. Also there are no hassles of paying brokerage.
With the young crowd heavily using social media platforms and the easy access to internet, portals like Grabhouse certainly is a value addition. The plight of people hunting the house in new cities would end drastically. And hopefully as the name says we can grab the house easily with just a few clicks.