Owning a holiday home may seem like a Western concept. Not that Indians don’t travel or would like to own one, but the idea of investing a large sum in a house for pure leisure may keep many at bay. Another concern is the cost involved in the regular maintenance of the property, given one buys it.
Alyf, a Mumbai-based startup, is trying to democratize owning a holiday home in India with a unique model that involves partial ownership of a property. In simpler terms, you can invest a relatively small sum and become a part owner of a property.
For instance, you want to own a holiday home in Goa. You can become a part owner along with up to seven other owners to enjoy up to 44 days of vacation in a year.
At the moment, the entry ticket size to own a share on Alyf is Rs 20 lakh. “But we’re trying to bring it down to Rs 10 lakh,” founder Saurabh Vohara told Entrackr.
Alyf rents out the property on days it’s not occupied, allowing owners to make income through rent. The startup also takes care of the maintenance of the property through its Alyf Care service.
Another highlight of the platform is that property owners or ‘SmartOwners’ in Alyf speak can also stay at other Alyf properties. SmartOwners can also re-sell their shares in a property after a 12-month lock-in period.
Alyf was founded in 2021 by Vohara, who previously served as business head at NoBroker, a realty startup unicorn.
In September, Alyf raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by 9Unicorns and Venture Catalysts. A bunch of individual investors, including NoBroker founder Akhil Gupta, Cred founder Kunal Shah, and Better Place co-founder Pravin Agarwal also participated in the round, which valued the firm at $10 million.
Alyf currently operates 10 properties in Lonavala, four properties in Goa, and will be soon available in Alibaug.
“Our current average ticket size of shares is Rs 50 lakh. We have already done sales of more than Rs 15 crore. There are 30 customers on the platform,” the founder added.
Vohara added that the company’s objective is to help people own a holiday home by investing as low as Rs 5 lakh. In the next 12 months, Alyf aims to make the platform more efficient for current and new customers. The company is also working on a secondary layer on the platform that will make it easier for owners to sell and buy shares.
Fractional ownership is gradually picking up pace in India, though there are not a lot of players as of now. In November, Square Yards, a real estate tech company, announced a fractional ownership real estate investment platform. Globally there are a few companies that have done well in this sector. For instance, San Francisco-based Pacaso has raised nearly $1.5 billion in different funding rounds. Another known name in this industry is Kocomo from Mexico.