Delhi-based coworking space provider Awfis has raised $30 Mn in a Series D funding round. The investment was led by ChrysCapital, with participation from Sequoia Capital India and The Three Sisters Institutional Office. Awfis says it would use the funding to expand its products and services lineup, and further establish a presence in new micro-markets in India, while enriching the experience for its community members. The investment was advised by Maple Capital Advisors.
With this investment, total funding raised by Awfis is $81 Mn backed by investors such as InnoVen Capital etc.
Founded in 2015 by Amit Ramani, Awfis currently has 30K seats across 63 centres in nine cities with a member base of over 25K customers. The company is offering its services to over 1500 clients including companies such as Vodafone, Reliance, Hitachi, Zomato, Practo, Blazeclan, Syngenta, Phelps, Hinduja Global Services.
The company currently has a total real estate portfolio of 2 Mn sq. ft. across India. Ramani said the additional capital from the Series D funding would support Awfis’ plans to expand its presence to other locations in India with over 400 centres and 200K seats over the next 36 months. “Our focus is to fortify our base in Tier 1 cities and further enter newer market with expansion into Tier 2 cities,” Ramani added.
Awfis Funding: Coworking Market Draws Big Deals
Awfis recently introduced Awfis Enterprise Solutions which focuses on customised offerings and a hassle-free way for an enterprise to outsource the designing, building and managing of their office space thus allowing them to solely focus on running their business. Pankaj Karna, founder and MD of Maple Capital Advisors, said, “Awfis under Amit and the current team has built a profitable market leading business that has extremely bright future with best in class investors backing.”
The funding announcement from Awfis comes on the same day that Gurugram-based coworking space GoWork announced raising $53 Mn debt funding from BlackRock’s Private Credit team. CLSA Capital Partners’ Special Situations Group also participated in the round, and GoWork plans to expand to 50 centres across major cities of India by 2025.
Competing among nearly 300 coworking spaces in India, Awfis has been challenging players such as WeWork India, 91Springboard and newly-launched OYO Workspaces with Innov8. OYO introduced three coworking brands including Workflo and PowerStation in its mid to budget category, while Innov8 is part of its premium category. Powerstation by OYO is a fully managed workspace for medium and large businesses, startups, and freelancers.
According to CBRE, in the next few years, with office rents continuing to move up across India, the total space leased by coworking operators in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities could touch 6-10 Mn sq. ft. by 2020. In another report, JLL estimated that Indian office space holds a potential real estate investment trust (REIT) able space of 294 Mn sq ft. In a statement earlier, Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India said, “We expect more REIT launches in 2019. For institutional players, newer business around coliving, flex-spaces and proptech are opening up, giving much hope and confidence in the India growth story.”