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From a humble beginning in 2014, NoBroker, the brainchild of IIT and IIM graduates Amit Kumar Agarwal, Akhil Gupta and Saurabh Garg, rose to become India’s first prop-tech unicorn. With a whopping $210 million raised in funding, this startup has truly disrupted the traditional real estate scene in India.
NoBroker offers a range of services to property owners, tenants, and buyers, making it easy for them to connect and find their dream homes without the hassle of brokerage. So far, NoBroker has helped its clients save a whopping Rs 11,000 crore in brokerage fees on buy/sell/rent transactions. The company recently opened its first overseas office in Dubai.
The different product lines of NoBroker are: NoBroker Pay – a platform for rent payments, NoBroker Hood – providing local information on amenities and services, NoBroker Home Services – offering services for household needs like cleaning and plumbing, NoBroker Assist – a personalised service to help find and finalise properties based on preferences and budget, and NoBroker Bazaar – an online marketplace for property transactions.
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(Left to right) Akhil Gupta, Saurabh Garg, Amit Kumar Agarwal
Besides being backed by Tiger Global, General Atlantic, and Moore Strategic Ventures, NoBroker has also caught the attention of big tech Google with its innovation. The tech giant has made a strategic investment of $5 million in the company.
“With Google (onboard), it’s like a validation of what we are doing. Through this partnership with Google, we aim to leverage their technical expertise to create unique solutions for the real estate industry, with a special focus on NoBrokerhood,” co-founder and chief tech and product officer Akhil Gupta told AIM in an exclusive interview. The IIT Bombay alumni spearheaded senior tech roles at Peoplefluent and Oracle before founding NoBroker.
On Expansion Mode
NoBroker has four positions open for ML engineer (NLP – Indic Languages), data engineer and ML ops engineer.
Inside NoBroker’s AI & Analytics Play
“We’re a technology company and didn’t want to rely on people to solve problems. Data science is one of our pillars to success,” Gupta said, highlighting the importance of AI at NoBroker.
With over 35 data scientists in their tech team, NoBroker considers data science as one of their keys to success. Besides using cutting-edge technology, they have developed their own products as well. NoBroker focuses on building automated solutions using AI techniques like vision and NLP.
The start-up has over 1,000 agents assisting customers in finding houses, and records over 7,000 hours of call centre conversations daily. To validate these conversations, they have developed a transcription project that works in multiple languages with high accuracy. They also utilise NLP to identify positive and negative customer moments on calls and have launched a separate product called ‘Callzen.AI’, which has applications beyond NoBroker and is being sold as a SaaS platform to other companies.
Besides, the prop-tech also has a rent and price prediction engine called ‘Rentometer’ and ‘NB Estimate’. The team provides a personalised recommendation engine, which takes into account the seeker’s preferences and important factors like location, commute time, and ideal rent. The team also uses vision analytics to handle a huge number of property images and create immersive property videos from uploaded images. Their automated system ‘IRIS Internal’ checks if the posted images are genuine.
The company has developed proprietary technology that uses user behaviour analytics and AI to identify fraudulent listings and ban them from the platform. “As a result, 99.99% of the properties listed on the platform are genuine, creating a safe and productive space for property transactions,” added Gupta.
The real estate giant has also created their own data lake, called ‘Starship’, which is almost 500 GB in size and includes all the data generated by NoBroker, including call data, analytics data, and business operations data and can be used to make queries and business intelligence decisions.
The Interview Process
About the hiring process for data science experts, Gupta said, “While looking at candidates, we prioritise their technology stack and cultural fit. We have a family-like environment and look to grow together”.
Working with large-scale databases, transformation, language models, and NLP can add value to a candidate’s profile, but NoBroker would want the ideal candidate to understand the customer’s pain points and have a strong foundation to solve them. They value the ability to learn fast, implement quickly, fail fast, and learn from mistakes.
For senior positions, the company prefers to promote from within, for example, Zaher Abdul Azeez, who started as a fresher, now holds a director position in the company’s data science team. The company looks for the right attitude and aptitude in candidates and is willing to support them in their career growth.
“When we interview candidates, we make sure that we are adding value to their goals. It becomes a one-way relationship if we can’t do justice to their expectations,” said Gupta. But at the same time, the company expects the candidates to be willing to learn and grow with the company, and possess qualities such as ownership, teamwork, and mentorship.
Over the years, NoBroker has built a work culture based on ownership and transparency.
NoBroker believes in creating a transparent and inclusive workplace where employees have access to all business data and metrics. It has recently been recognised by workplace culture consultant Great Place to Work India. “We strive to treat their employees like family, while providing a good salary structure, flexible working hours, and an ESOP policy that allows employees to own a part of the company,” concluded Gupta.
So, looking for an opportunity to hop into a team that’s always on the move? Take a peek at their careers page and check if it’s the perfect match for you.
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