Co-living operator Stanza Living will invest Rs 400 crore over the next two years on expansion as it sees opportunities in the rental accommodation business despite the coronavirus-triggered slowdown.
Founded in 2017, Stanza Living has so far raised USD 70 million from investors like Falcon Edge Capital, Sequoia Capital, Accel, Matrix Partners and Alteria Capital.
It currently has 200 centres across 14 cities with a total capacity of 55,000 beds, which are being provided in the price range of Rs 4,000-25,000 per bed.
“We are seeing a limited impact on our business. Our revenue has been hit marginally by around 2 per cent. Most of the students have gone back to their home but they are occupying our beds and paying rents,” Stanza Living Co-founder and MD Anindya Dutta said.
The company has given some relief to its student members by providing discounts on rentals, he added.
Dutta expressed confidence about the growth potential of the co-living business post COVID-19.
However, at present there is no clarity about when the new session will start in colleges and universities because of the lockdown, he added.
“Education is important. As and when situations normalise, students will come back to study,” he said.
Earlier this year, Stanza Living decided to diversify its business and provide rental accommodations for working professionals as well.
Asked about expansion plans, Dutta said: “We are not deferring our expansion plans. We are targeting to add 50,000 beds in 12-18 months.”
Around half of the capacity addition would be for student housing and the remaining for working professionals.
On planned investment for expansion, Dutta said the company will be investing around Rs 400 crore over the next two years.
“We have enough capital for our growth plan. We do not need to raise fresh funds,” he added.
In a recent study, News Corp and Softbank-backed realty portal PropTiger termed the co-living space as “real estate goldmine” and said the segment has the potential to become a USD 93 billion market annually on rising demand from students and professionals.