Bengaluru-based co-living startup Grexter has raised $1.5 Mn (INR 10.6 Cr) in a Pre-Series A funding round from Venture Catalysts. The startup will use the funds for enhancing the inventory it offers as well as to ramp up its technology architecture.
Arisht Jain of Samyakth Group; Vikas Bohra; Vishal Shah, founder of Rapid Retail participated in the round in addition to the participation from developers, HNIs, real estate professionals, family offices, private equity funds, wealth management companies and others.
Launched in 2016 by Pratul Gupta and Nikhil Dosi, Grexter is tech-based rental accommodation providing platform for students and young professionals in the country. It provides state of the art, fully furnished co-living spaces while eliminating problems such as hefty brokerage fees, low-quality homes, sky-high rents and deposits, and picky homeowners
The startup currently has over 1500 beds across Bengaluru and plans to significantly increase that number in the near future.
“We envision to scale up rapidly and accommodate over 5000 beds by the end of 2019. This is the start of another exciting chapter in our growth story,” added Gupta.
Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President of Venture Catalysts shared that the rental accommodation sphere caters to one of the most basic needs of consumers yet it continues to be highly fragmented and plagued with key problems pertaining to quality, transparency and high brokerage fees.
“Grexter eliminates all these lacunae with its unique and tech-driven business model. It is also creating a robust co-living ecosystem in India and we are certain that it will successfully capture a lion’s share of the $20 Bn accommodation rental market through its innovative approach,” he added.
Co-living: A $20 Bn Industry
Other notable players in this space are NestAway, ZoloStays and StayAbode. In December 2018, StayAbode announced a co-living project in partnership with CP Developers, thereby claiming it to be the largest A grade co-living project in India with 1400 people living in a community environment, in the heart of Bengaluru’s Whitefield – a professional hub neighbouring ITPL and large MNCs with a working population of over 50,000 millennials.
StayAbode currently has 1350 beds across Bengaluru and is operating at 97% occupancy, and 10 more buildings are due to be launched in the city. The company claims to be operationally profitable.
Most recently, Mumbai-based ZoloStays raised a $30 Mn Series C funding round led by IDFC Alternatives, Mirae Asset and Nexus Venture Partners. Zolo currently manages 157 properties across in 6 cities viz. Bangalore, Chennai, Kota, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad and Pune via two kinds of models – Zolo Standard and Zolo Select. The startup has 16K beds live and has locked-in 50K beds for the near future. With this number, it has become the largest co-living player in India.
According to research company RedSeer, India’s tech-enabled co-living market is poised to grow to more than $2 Bn by CY22, with well-funded entrants driving both supply and demand. The last couple of years have seen the co-living market grow rapidly to reach a significant scale, driven by players like NestAway and others who doubled supply to about 50k beds in CY18.
“However, the next wave of growth is likely to come from models that are significantly different, which would focus on building much larger establishments that are tech-enabled and close to major demand hubs. Such models driven by well-funded players would enable strong economies of scale along with consistent consumer experience,” the report added.