At a time when the coworking industry is facing huge losses, Delhi-based coworking space provider Awfis has raised fresh funding, which may help the company to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their business.
According to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) filings accessed by Inc42, Awfis Space Solutions Private Limited has raised INR 40 Cr by issuing debentures and preference shares. The coworking startup has raised INR 39.4 Cr in debt from Mauritius-based Bisque Limited and INR 60 Lakh from Delhi-based Link Investment Trust by issuing preference shares.
As part of the transaction, Awfis has issued 39,400 debentures to Bisque Limited at a price of INR 10K per debenture. Link Investment has received 36,878 preference shares from Awfis. The price of each preference share for this deal stood at INR 62.7 with a nominal price of INR 100.
Prior to this, Awfis had raised $30 Mn in a Series D funding round in August last year. The investment was led by ChrysCapital, with participation from Sequoia Capital India and The Three Sisters Institutional Office.
Founded in 2015 by Amit Ramani, Awfis offers coworking spaces in 10 Indian cities including Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh. Currently, Awfis has around 35K members across 67 centres.
The company is offering its services to over 1,500 clients including companies such as Vodafone, Reliance, Hitachi, Zomato, Practo, Blazeclan, Syngenta, Phelps, Hinduja Global Services. Under Awfis rewards programme, the startup has bagged over 100 strategic partnerships that are said to be providing exclusive offers to Awfis Members.
Recently, the startup launched the ‘[email protected]’ programme. Under this, the startup claims to be enabling distributed work experience through various approaches, majorly by offering companies technology which helps companies to check if they are ready to start working from home. Awfis is also offering various other technologies to facilitate startups work from home.
In India, Awfis has been challenging players such as WeWork India, 91Springboard and OYO Workspaces with Innov8. According to a 2018-9 survey by CBRE, the total space leased by coworking operators in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities could touch 6-10 Mn sq. ft. by 2020 as office rents continue to move up across India. In another report, JLL estimated that Indian office space holds a potential real estate investment trust (REIT) able space of 294 Mn sq ft.
But these estimates now might be far from reality as most of the coworking startups are facing huge losses due to the lockdown. Therefore, their expansion might take a hit for some time.
Meanwhile, many startups are now looking to permanently operate from home. This phase has helped many of them to learn the know-how of working from home and they might not return to coworking spaces which can be a bigger problem for many coworking spaces as they look to narrow down the losses.