Awfis gets $20 million from Sequoia | Times of India

26 April 2017

Awfis gets $20 million from Sequoia | Times of India

  • The Times of India

Call it the WeWork effect, Indian venture capital firms are warming up to the nascent shared work place market locally. Sequoia Capital is putting $20 million or around Rs 130 crore in Awfis, a network of collaborative co-working spaces, which wants to establish 100 centres within a ten minute driving distance of each other across metros. This is the largest financing round for any player in the segment and also the most significant early-stage bet by a risk investor on a domestic startup in this segment.

Awfis was jointly incubated by its founder Amit Ramani and The Three Sisters: Institutional office, a family office led the three daughters of Yes Bank’s Rana Kapoor, with a total corpus of $11 million.

The funding round comes on the back of WeWork, the New York-based shared work place startup, which is valued at $17 billion having already mapped out its India plan by forging a joint venture with the Bengaluru-based developer Embassy Group.

Awfis which has about 7,500 seats across 21 centres across eight cities is looking to expand to 35,000 seats over the next two years. “No one sits at their desks and gets their work done. Today’s workforce is mobile and we want to cater to this set of growing professionals in the country with a shared economy platform like ours,” Ramani told TOI over a chat. The two-year-old company, uses a combination of managed franchise model and leasing properties to open its centres. Unlike WeWork which takes up huge spaces, Awfis says it differentiates itself by being a 350-400 seater, neighbourhood co-working centre.
Ramani said Awfis was pushing its just-in-time usage which costs Rs 350 for a seat on a per day basis as it’s far more lucrative than clients which take up monthly and annual packages. Office rental startups are gaining traction especially among small to medium enterprises (SMEs) which do not want to lease offices at high rentals. Awfis has 50% of its users come from the SME sector, 25% are freelancers and startups, while the rest are corporates. Abhay Pandey, MD at Sequoia Capital, said Awfis is playing on two significant global trends– sharing economy and communities. This being delivered through a superior user experience at a lower total cost makes it exciting.

WeWork which had announced its India entry and is expected to start operations soon has disrupted the traditional real-estate sector across the globe. The company recently leased 1.9 lakh sq ft space at the Enam Building in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). Bhive , 91 Springboard, Investopad, Breathing Room, Innov8 are some of the local startups offering co-working spaces in India while Bengaluru-based RMZ Corp is also foraying into this business. Awfis claims to have 90% occupancy across its established centres. Others like Regus are the old guards in this business which cater more to the corporates than smaller businesses.

Changing Realty: The new face of commercial real estate

03 February 2022

Changing Realty: The new face of commercial real estate

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Moving past the second wave of the pandemic, the commercial real estate sector is on the path of gradual recovery. Prior to COVID-19, the real estate industry was at its prime with commercial and residential activities in full swing. However, with the imposition of an abrupt lockdown in 2020, the real estate sector faced a slowdown in activities; and despite these hurdles, the industry has managed to overcome the challenges.

The current situation led to the adoption of digital technologies for launching new projects, scheduling virtual site visits, & offering properties with higher safety, hygiene, and amenities to support the new norm of social distancing.

With economic activities back on track after the second wave of the pandemic, the commercial real estate is poised for a potentially disruptive transformation. Going forward, the commercial real estate market will primarily see growth in the coming months due to the fast pace of vaccination in the country. Furthermore, considering the interest of millennials to return to work, the commercial space will witness demand across business sectors. The recent boom in digitalization, job opportunities, and demand for office across the country will alter the face of commercial real estate segment.
Some of the key trends the industry will witness are:

Rise of Hub and Spoke Model: Flex on Fleek

Given the work from home & hybrid working trend on rise, many companies are booking flex spaces to provide work locations in closer proximity to where employees live. This has resulted in many enterprises to leave their long-term leases and partner with coworking players for their workspace needs.

Since shared spaces don’t require companies to take the entire office on lease, companies have the flexibility of booking a specific number of seats for a specific time frame. While flex spaces have employees from different companies, cultures and fields working at one place, the collaboration of these personalities results in strong community building and yields in higher productivity. Additionally, by opting flex spaces, companies are not bearing the additional cost of office maintenance & electricity bills.

The reverse migration to Tier II & Tier III cities and lack of ideal work infrastructure has made work from home a bit challenging. Additionally, employees are now looking for flexibility and work near home options. According to the Awfis Workspace Survey 2021, the hub and spoke model is gaining momentum with 58% of the participants expressing an interest to work from the nearest branch office/ or coworking space provided by their employer. In line with the same, many companies are using shared workspaces equipped with modern-day facilities to create an office-like environment for employees based in smaller cities and towns.

Tier II & III cities: The sunrise spots for CRE

With urbanization rapidly making inroads in Tier II & Tier III, developers & flex workspace operators are eyeing these markets to transform them into the future of commercial real estate in India. In fact, since work from home & hybrid working are becoming a permanent reality for several companies, a significant cluster of the employees population has moved back to their hometowns for affordable and quality living. With this unprecedented migration, realtors are now presented with opportunities that will allow them to chalk our development plans of commercial hubs in these smaller markets. An added appeal of these markets is also derived from their low rents thereby leading many businesses to shift their offices to these cities to save on operational costs.

Today, accelerated by government initiatives like Atmanirbhar & Startup initiatives, Tier II & Tier III cities are moving towards rapid infrastructure and have become the new employment hubs. Due to high population in metro cities, the impact of pandemic was slightly high than the Tier II & Tier III cities and upon lifting of the lockdown, developers and companies showed more interest in smaller towns & cities to revive their businesses.

Automated Future: Digitalization of CRE

As building owners work to understand and respond to emerging behavioral patterns of customers and create safe spaces, prop tech has taken a front seat in their business decisions. Developers & coworking operators are now realigning their space designs to accommodate touchless access, automated attendance, voice-controlled features to avoid maximum surface contact and ensure maximum safety of employees.

Furthermore, AI is set to become a major tool in commercial real estate as companies can evaluate property valuation, type, carpet area, location and other parameters. With AI & Cloud-based technologies, it is easier for workspace operators to keep a tab on various tenant profiles, tenant application, inspection requests, etc. to streamline the leasing & other processes.

As more people return to work in the coming months, social distancing, air quality & hygiene criteria will be taken care by prop-tech. Features like sensor-activated disinfectants, retina entry scanners, digitalized ventilator systems, etc. will define the future of commercial real estate.

This story appeared in the 23  September, 2021 issue of The Times of India and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis. This article was originally published at : Changing Realty: The new face of commercial real estate (

Awfis FY19 revenue jumps nearly 3 fold to Rs 158 crore on rising demand for co-working space

07 May 2019

Awfis FY19 revenue jumps nearly 3 fold to Rs 158 crore on rising demand for co-working space

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Co-working operator Awfis has clocked a nearly three-fold jump in revenue during the last fiscal at Rs 158 crore on rising demand for shared office space from small to big corporates and startups, a top company official said.

Awfis, which was founded in April 2015, has become profitable at entity level from November last year and is targeting to launch a public issue in 2022, its founder and CEO Amit Ramani said.

The national capital-based firm has so far raised USD 51 million for growth of its business. The last funding was in July 2018 when it had raised USD 20 million (about Rs 137.57 crore) from a few investors, including Sequoia India.

“Our revenue grew almost three times in 2018-19 to Rs 158 crore from Rs 56 crore in the previous year,” he told PTI.

Ramani said the company currently operates 63 centres, housing 30,000 seats, across 10 cities. It charges anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 per seat, but the average cost is Rs 10,000.

“We are targeting to double our capacity to 60,000 seats by March 2020,” he added.

The number of centres would cross 100 and the company would expand its presence to five more cities — Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Kochi (Kerala), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh) — by the end of this fiscal year.

“We are targeting to achieve a revenue of more than Rs 300 crore in 2019-20 fiscal,” he said.

The company’s monthly revenue has already touched Rs 20 crore and this is expected to rise to around Rs 35 crore by March next year, he said.

Asked about any fundraising plan, Ramani said the company does not require any fresh funding at this stage.

“FY18-19 was another strong year for Awfis from a business point of view which is a clear reflection of market sentiments and the positive customer response that our value driven product has been able to garner. We expect Awfis to grow exponentially in the next few years and we aim to go public by 2022,” Ramani said.

On customer profiles, he said about 85 per cent of its seats are taken by small and medium enterprises as well as large corporates. The remaining demand comes from individual professionals and startups.

To tap the corporate demand, a new product — Awfis Enterprise Solutions (AES) — has recently been launched to provide exclusive and fully customised offices for companies across the country.

Under this programme, an enterprise can outsource the designing, building and managing of their ‘own’ office space.

Awfis CMO Sumit Lakhani said the company has provided its very first fully customised workspace for Blazeclan.

Under the AES model, Awfis can own and operate the centre for an enterprise or can just act as a service provider.

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Awfis to triple number of co-working seats to 12,000 in Pune

06 November 2018

Awfis to triple number of co-working seats to 12,000 in Pune

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Co-working operator Awfis plans to expand aggressively in Pune by tripling its number of centres to 21 over the next one year driven by huge demand for shared office space in the city from startups and corporates, a top company official said.
Awfis, which was founded in April 2015, entered Pune market 18 months back and has established seven centres with a seating capacity of over 4000. Now, it has chalked out a plan to add 8,000 seats more by opening 14 new centres over next one year.

Overall, the company has 55 centres, comprising 25,000 seats, across nine cities. A seat costs anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 in its centres.

It posted a revenue of Rs 57 crore last fiscal and the same is expected to reach Rs 170 crore this financial year.
“Pune has proved to be an ideal eco-system of startup entrepreneurs, SMEs and corporates, where Awfis is determined to continue its growth trajectory and provide best in class shared workspaces to facilitate businesses. We aim to open 14 new centres over the next one year, taking the total capacity to 21 centres and 12,000 seats in this city,” Awfis founder & CEO Amit Ramani told PTI.
“We have recently tied up for one centre in Pune with over 600 seating capacity,” he said, adding that the company would soon lease space for other centres.

Awfis has opened its workspaces across all key business centres in the city and is catering to clients such as Vodafone, Hinduja Group and Michelin Tyres.

The company aims to create a strong ecosystem for corporates, SMEs and startups to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the region.

Sumit Lakhani, Chief Marketing Officer, Awfis, said “Pune is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing cities in India and is seeing a lot of demand for superior workspaces by MNCs, SMEs and startups.”

Awfis currently has centres in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh. In wants to expand operations in Tier II markets to achieve its target to establish over 200 centres with 1,00,000 plus seats by 2020.
The company had in July raised USD 20 million (about Rs 137.57 crore) from a few investors, including Sequoia India, for expanding its operations and could raise more if required. Since inception, the company has raised USD 51 million.

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