Sanjay Mandava founded the property title search engine, Landeed, four months ago. By his own ambitious admission, he now wants it to become the "Google of real estate titles".
If you've ever bought real estate in India, chances are you've already had your tryst with 'presumptive ownership' or the understanding that the seller of the property in question does in fact own it — unless your due diligence reveals otherwise. The problems usually arise when a buyer begins this process only to witness the labyrinth of paperwork and inconsistencies involved in accessing relevant documentation.
"India does not have a common database when it comes to the paperwork — like title deeds — concerning the purchase of the real estate," says Sanjay Mandava, founder & CEO at Landeed, "Each state has a different way of producing documents that then go by different names — document number, survey number, circle rate, guideline value — that vary with each new state."
To get around the problem, Sanjay founded the property title search engine, Landeed, four months ago. By his own ambitious admission, he now wants it to become the "Google of real estate titles". His product's purpose is rather simple: state governments haven't yet zeroed in on a one-stop shop for real estate paperwork — Landeed aims to bridge that gap. For the moment, it’s working.
In four months, Landeed claims to have elicited 1.7 million searches for land titles across the seven states (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh) it operates in. Four weeks ago, the start-up began monetizing its search engine and introduced a subscription model in Telangana where users would have to pay Rs 199 per month, which has seen the company's revenue model find its initial footing.
Earlier this month, Landeed secured $2.5 million in pre-series funding, featuring investors like Goodwater Capital, Olive Tree, AVCF Fund, Kunal Shah of CRED, Justin Hamilton (Clutterbot), Chris Maurice (Yellow Card), Christian Kaczmarczyk (Third Prime VC), and angel investor Manmohan Chandolu among others from the Y-Combinator network. "I expect our ongoing round to hit $5 million to 7.5 million as it progresses," says Sanjay.
The investment inflow could perhaps be indicative of Landeed’s product solving an extremely common pain point. "Prospective land-buyers are dealing with too much terminology and documentation in different places," says Sanjay. The good news for Landeed though was that buyers are willing to pay for document aggregation. "A large number of our users are property lawyers and brokers," he adds, "But a number of buyers operate the platform too, looking for encumbrance certificates to secure utility connections for their property."
In quantitative terms, the problem that Landeed helps solve is to do with a function of time. The average duration of due diligence in India is between two to three months. "That pales in comparison to the US where you could buy a property one day and look to sell it the next," Sanjay points out. The Indian market could follow suit. "I’m confident that our 1.7 million searches will go up to 10 million before the year ends," he signs off.
First Published: IST