On 67% of all court cases in India they deal with disputes related to land. One of the main reasons for these struggles is that land ownership here has been largely based on occupancy of the property (presumptive ownership) rather than legal title rights.
If you’ve ever bought property in India, you’ve likely had to deal with confusing paperwork from various government departments to verify title deeds.
To address this matter, Sanjay Mandava, ZJ Lin, and Jonathan Richards startedin 2022.
The Bangalore-based proptech startup enables owners, agents, developers, and legal advisers to verify real estate records to build, lend, and transact property.
Landeed says its platform helps users search for property titles 10 times faster than existing processes. People can receive documents on their land for a nominal fee.
The startup introduced a subscription model about four weeks ago in Telangana, in which users across the spectrum would have to pay Rs 199 per month to receive the documents.
“Soon we will launch it in other states. When it comes to government pricing, different governments charge different prices. For example, the Telangana government charges Rs 500 per property to search on the government app,” adds Sanjay.
Sanjay says the inspiration to start Landeed came from his own experience dealing with trespassing on his property.
“India does not have a common database when it comes to the paperwork, such as land titles, related to the purchase of real estate. Each state has a different way of producing documents which then have different names: document number, survey number , circle rate , guide value, which vary with each new state”, highlights Sanjay.
In addition to this, existing processes for obtaining property details and conducting due diligence often involve searching different government departments and waiting long periods for documents.
How does Landed work?
Users can enter a particular survey number or their area to retrieve a document. Interestingly, that is actually what the government charges for as well, however the process takes time.
In the last four months, the company has seen more than 1.7 million property searches on its platform. People have even received traces of transactions for the last 20 years.
In addition to the document, Landeed also provides many other data points on a single screen, such as reference values, Lien Certificate, a document showing that the property in question is free from monetary or legal disputes, among others.
Since government provisioning takes time, users find it easy. In addition to this, users pay for document aggregation.
Currently, the startup’s subscriber base includes real estate brokers, developers, attorneys, and mainstream consumers looking to buy/sell land.
Last month, the startup raised Rs19.5 crore ($2.5 million) in a pre-funding round led by Justin Hamilton (CEO, Clutterbot) Goodwater Capital, Olive Tree, Kunal Shah (CRED), Manmohan Chandolu , Chris Maurice (Yellow Card) , Christian Kaczmarczyk (Third Prime VC) and AVCF Fund and nine YCombinator alumni.
The startup is currently expanding the existing $2.5 million round to $5 million due to high interest and oversubscription, says Sanjay.
Market opportunity and growth.
The real estate market is expected to reach $1 trillion in market size by 2030compared to 200,000 million dollars in 2021 and will contribute 13% to the country’s GDP by 2025.
Title insurance is a form of insurance that protects owners and lenders from property defects.
“Title insurance alone is a nearly $25 billion market in the US and was only recently introduced to India. We believe there are much larger segments to tap into in India beyond title insurance and in the coming months, we are planning to enable the incorporation of title deeds on the blockchain,” the founders say in a joint statement.
Currently present in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal, Landeed is now expanding to other states.
“Our engineering teams are currently working on adding more states to the platform. Currently, people can search for property data across India through a single platform. We are the only app that offers this feature. Just four weeks ago, we started monetizing our search engine and introduced a subscription model in Telangana where users would have to pay Rs 199 per month,” he adds.
Landeed app has more than 600,000 installs on IOS and Android. The startup will soon add a feature where people can enter the property address, linking it to the survey number to help people find their documents more easily.
The founding team
Sanjay, ZJ Lin and Jonathan have known each other for almost seven years and founded GoLorry, a platform aimed at consolidating the fragmented Indian trucking market into a single service provider. The platform sought to provide India’s first truly instant price on any route.
GoLorry will merge with DeFi-enabled digital banking company ANQ Finance. The three founders are technical advisors and help in the transition process.
Both Landeed and GoLorry have been part of the YCominator cohorts. GoLorry was part of YC W16 and Landeed is in the current lot S22.
Landeed has a team of eight people, and co-founder Jonathan is the CTO who handles the back-end and architecture of their engineering. ZJ is the co-founder and CPO leading the front end and growth. Sanjay takes care of everything that is not code.