Using technology, Crib is changing the landscape of the PG/Hostel Business in India.

Using technology, Crib is changing the landscape of the PG/Hostel Business in India.

When students and young professionals relocate to another city, they prefer to stay as paying guests or share rooms in a flat for economic reasons. Landlords usually have single or multiple flats that are specifically designed for such tenants. It's quite common in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, and Kota, among others.

Landlords have traditionally managed tenants by using simple tools for communication or payment reminders. Tenants, too, rely on the same system, which is both inconvenient and archaic. But what if there was a better way to keep track of everything?

Crib, a Bengaluru-based startup, is attempting to address this issue by assisting landlords in better managing their day-to-day operations and finances through a single platform.

Sunny Garg, Shaifali Jain, and Archit Chauhan founded the company in 2021. Garg and Jain previously co-founded YourShell, a student housing company based in Delhi that was later acquired by Stanza Living.

Tenant onboarding and offboarding, staff management, complaint management (view, assign, and close), collections (auto-reminders, auto-receipts, dues creation), payments, inventory management, and more are all available through Crib. Landlords receive a three-month free subscription to the app. Landlords must pay a subscription fee after the free subscription expires.

After the free subscription expired, nearly 80% of landlords signed up for the paid version.

The platform also serves tenants, who can use it to share KYC information, pay rent, and manage complaints (raise, track, and feedback).

Crib received $400,000 in pre-seed funding in January from Pranay Gupta (co-founder, 91Springboard) and his AngelList syndicate 91Ventures. BlackSoil Capital, Faad Network, and other angel investors such as the founders of BharatPe and Nowfloats also took part.

The startup currently has over 200 landlords who manage 700 properties with over 50,000 beds. Bengaluru is currently Crib's largest market, accounting for nearly 95% of traction. By September 2023, the startup hopes to have 1500 paid landlords managing up to 200,000 beds. It will take place in all major cities, including Delhi-NCR, Dehradun, Kota, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai..

The company also revealed its roadmap, which includes expanding Crib into a larger SaaS-based asset-light platform where users can obtain services such as food, laundry, furniture, and more. In contrast to other business models that involve owning or leasing inventory, the company intends to remain asset-light. The model will eventually evolve into a SaaS marketplace in which it will charge 1% of a landlord's total revenue for SaaS and make around 2-3% of revenue from the marketplace.

Crib competes indirectly with platforms such as Stanza Living, which raised more than $100 million in April 2021. Stanza, another soonicorn, is now present in over 24 cities and manages 70,000 beds.