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Co-living startup CoHo is in talks with strategic investors and financial institutions to raise Rs 70-100 crore to expand its presence in the country, and reach one lakh beds over the next three years, its founder and CEO Uday Lakkar said.

The company, which started its operations in 2015, currently has about 3,500 beds mainly in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru, and another 10,000 beds would be launched soon.

“We are actively looking to raise capitals from strategic players and pure-play financial institutions for funding our expansion plan. We are targeting to reach one lakh beds over the next three years,” Lakkar told PTI.

He said the company would set up co-living facilities in four metros – Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune – and other major urban cities.

“Rapid growth will be driven by a combination of leasing and franchising models,” Lakkar said, adding that the company was already in talks with real estate developers who are keen to enter this growing co-living space.

Asked about how much fund it would raise, he said: “We are looking to raise Rs 70-100 crore.”

Lakkar said the company has already achieved break-even at property level and would be profitable at entity level in the next financial year.

He said the company’s propriety technology stack will play a huge role in rapid growth, driven by machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), artifical intelligence, data and predictive analytics around consumer behaviour.

“CoHo’s growth will be accelerated through partnerships with real estate developers and fund houses which are looking to build portfolio in this space, wherein CoHo acts as an operator which best optimizes the asset monetisation,” Lakkar said.

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CoHo provides rental accomodations to both students and working professionals. It caters to retail as well as premium institutional clients like IIT Delhi, Pearl Academy, Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) and Max Healthcare, amongst others.

According to a report by PropTiger, co-living business has the potential to become a USD 93-billion market annually on rising demand for rental housing from students and professionals. The co-living sector has total untapped demand of about 46.3 million beds; out of which, 8.9 million is from student housing, it added

In its latest report, Student Accommodation Provider Association of India (SAPFI) and global property consultant CBRE said that the student housing/co-living space is expected to witness an investment worth USD 700 million and an addition of 0.6 million beds by 2023 across the country.

The top 30 players in student housing/co-living space offered a cumulative stock of more than 2.5 lakh beds as of August 2019.

Recently, many real estate developers including Embassy, Puravankara, Salarpuria Sattva, Tribeca and BDI group have decided to enter the co-living business. PTI MJH

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