How freelancers, corporates, startups can benefit from shared workspaces

22 May 2017

How freelancers, corporates, startups can benefit from shared workspaces

  • Economic Times

The silent aisles of a conventional office have given way to a stirring revolution. Shared workspaces or co-working spaces, a concept popular in the West, has taken root in India in sync with the rapid growth of startups and alternative work modes in the past 3-4 years.

What’s a co-working space?
A shared workplace is a fully equipped office in a relaxed setting, as opposed to a structured, traditional workspace. The place can be hired by multiple entities—individuals, small teams or a large company— for a flexible period. One can hire a single seat for an hour or take up fixed number of seats for 2-3 years, while sharing the place with other companies or individuals in an open floor plan.

What began as an option for startups now encompasses entrepreneurs, freelancers, frequent travellers, work-from-home professionals, SMEs and corporates. “While 60% of our customers are SMEs, about 20% are startups and freelancers, and the rest are corporates,” says Amit Ramani, CEO, Awfis Space Solution, which has 21 centres and 7,500 seats across seven metros, and plans to expand to 28 centres and 10,000 seats in nine cities soon.

Co-working offices are being set up by small, local players and bigger companies with pan-India network, besides global players like WeWork and Spaces, who have recently set foot in India. Some of the more popular players in major metros include Awfis, Innov8, Regus, BHive Workspace, 91 Springboard, Bombay Connect, among others. Does such an office offer cost benefit and significant advantages for you to take it up or should you set up an exclusive office or continue with the existing lease?

Cost & services
A basic shared workspace provides infrastructure (flexible and fixed seats), tech facilities (Internet, Wi-Fi, phone, printer, copier, scanner, fax machine), housekeeping staff, eating area and common front desk or reception area. The fee for smaller set-ups ranges from Rs 4,000-6,000 per seat per month, while the medium-level players charge Rs 6,500-9,000, and premium spaces can cost Rs 9,500-15,000 per seat for a month.

The charges differ for flexi and fixed seats, and you can get more facilities for an additional fee. These add-on, paid services can include lockers, meeting rooms, 3-4 seater cabins, video conferencing, meetings in third-party locations, access to mentors and capital, as well as legal, accounting and HR firms, organising events, promotions and conferences, discounted parking spaces, gaming zones, and partnership discounts, among others.

“Shared workspace helps focus on revenue building without bothering about administrative work.”

Facilities : 7 seats, business address, Wi-Fi, front desk, meeting room, cafeteria, discounts on Awfis tie-ups
Charges : Rs 70,000-80,000 per month

Convenience
The shared office allows one to focus on the business without worrying about securing funds for setting up an office or the nittygritty of managing it. “It offers a high degree of convenience because we can focus on building revenue without bothering about the administrative work of running an office,” says Rajas Kelkar, 43, who has a ninemember startup and has hired seven seats at Awfis in Mumbai.

“More than the cost, it’s the convenience that is the pull factor,” says Gurgaon-based Samir Mathai, who has recently launched a startup. “You can impress the clients with a good business address, don’t have to focus on office peripherals, and if you are with a bigger player and need to travel across the country, you can have an office in every metro,” he adds.

Agrees Prasad Walawalkar, Senior V-P, HR & Legal, in a research organisation, and part of the 65-member team at a workspace in Mumbai. “We can have client meetings in different cities like Delhi or Bengaluru because of the offices there,” he says. However, this option may be provided only by some players who have a countrywide network and offices in metros or tier 2 cities. A big benefit is the opportunity to interact with like-minded people from different organisations in the same workspace ..

Do you save money?
A more critical factor for startups is whether these workspaces translate to monetary gains. You can save 25-30% if you choose a small- or mid-level space provider and don’t avail of too many extra services. “Compared with a conventional lease option, we offer cost-effective solutions.Since the costs linked to a workspace are 5-10% of a company’s turnover, corporations of all sizes are looking at it as a strategic component of their business plans,” says Harsh Lambah, Country Head, Regus India, one of the oldest players in the market. “Besides, if you are a company of four and plan to grow to 10, in a conventional office, you have to tie in for 10 people from the start and are wasting space. We help these companies grow at their speed,” he adds.

However, this may not always be true as all workspace providers cannot provide additional seats as and when these are required. Moreover, the savings may not be substantial if you pick a premium office provider at a prime location. “By shifting from a premium workspace to a mid-segment one, I have cut down my costs by 30-40%,” says Kelkar.

Adds Mathai, who gave up a premium workspace at a good location in Gurgaon and opted for a commercial lease in a residential area: “We used to pay Rs 2.5 lakh a month for a five seater. Now with 30 seats, we are shelling out much lesser. The savings are typically higher in the long term.” Remember, the savings will be a function of the space provider, location as well as the services availed of. But if it’s convenience you want, opt for a shared workspace now.

(This Awfis coverage appeared in ET Wealth on May 22, 2017. The full story can be read here: 
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58762652.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst )
ChrysCapital leads $30 million round in Awfis

06 August 2019

ChrysCapital leads $30 million round in Awfis

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Proceeds from the deal will be primarily utilised to expand capacity, according to Amit Ramani, chief executive of Awfis.

ChrysCapital, India’s largest homegrown private equity firm, has led a $30 million (about ?213 crore) equity funding round in coworking space provider Awfis Space Solutions, both the firms said on Tuesday.

Proceeds from the deal, which was first reported by ET in its May 30 edition, will be primarily utilised to expand capacity, according to Amit Ramani, chief executive of Awfis.

“We’ve been pretty prudent with the capital raise that we have been undertaking, and the capital has been deployed very judiciously. This round allows us to expand our capacity to over 100,000 seats by 2020, and 200,000 seats by 2022,” Ramani told ET.

Sequoia Capital and Three Sisters, the family office of Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor, the two existing investors in Awfis, also participated in the funding round.

ChrysCapital has invested from its seventh fund, the 2016 vintage, $610 million ChrysCapital VII. Ramani also said the company plans to cap the round at $30 million.

Maple Capital Advisors acted as the sole financial advisor to Awfis for its latest round of fund raising. The Delhi-headquartered company, which competes with the likes of SoftBank-backed WeWork and Oyo-owned Innov8, among others, has raised a shade over $80 million in a mix of debt and equity financing till date.

The four-year-old company, which manages about 2 million square feet across India, also counts Temasek-backed venture debt firm InnoVen Capital as an institutional backer.

The development comes as India’s still-nascent co-working sector continues to expand, with investor interest keeping pace with what is seen as a real estate play underpinned by a technology foundation.

“The whole (Awfis) team and systems are originated around providing customers with flexibility… Ultimately, this is a services-led product, and not just a real estate play, which makes them a great fit for us,” Kshitij Sheth, vice-president at ChrysCapital, told ET.

Earlier this year, SoftBank-backed OYO Hotels & Homes acquired a majority stake in Gurugram-headquartered co-working space provider Innov8 for an estimated Rs 200-Rs 220 crore.

On Tuesday, ET was the first to report that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had led a $53 million (about Rs 375 crore) debt financing round in Gurugram-based co-working startup GoWork, marking its return to the Indian startup ecosystem after more than five years.

ChrysCapital’s investment in Awfis is its first in the broader co-working segment, and also a rare one by the storied investment firm, which manages assets of over $4 billion, in India’s new economy sector, given that it has primarily preferred to back companies operating in core sectors ranging from financial services, information technology and consumer.

“Co-working has changed the way commercial real estate business is conducted globally and has picked up a lot of steam in India, with Awfis leading the disruption. Awfis’ sustainable approach to business, superior performance and strong customer focus has encouraged ChrysCapital to associate with them,” Sheth said.

Awfis, which currently has 30,000 seats across 63 centres spread across nine cities – Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh – plans to enter Tier-2 cities, including Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bhuvaneshwar, Kochi and Indore.

For the financial year 2018-19, the company said revenue grew to Rs 165 crore from Rs 56 crore. It has reportedly projected a topline of Rs 300 crore in the current financial year.

Please visit the below links to read the published article:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/awfis-raises-30-million-from-chryscapital-sequoia/articleshow/70552533.cms?from=mdr

This article was also published on other news portals:

Economic Times-ChrysCapital leads $30 million round in Awfis

ET Tech-Awfis raises $30M from ChrysCapital & existing investors

Times of India-Awfis raises USD 30 mn fund from investors including ChrysCapital,
Sequoia

ET Rise-ChrysCapital leads $30 million round in Awfis

VC Circle-ChrysCapital leads Series D funding round for co-working startup Awfis

TechCrunch- India’s Awfis raises $30M to grow its co-working spaces business

Inc42-Awfis Raises $30 Mn In Series D Funding Led By ChrysCapital

Business Standard-Awfis raises USD 30 mn fund from investors including ChrysCapital,
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Financial Express-IT sector, co-working players driving office space absorption

The Hindu-Awfis raises $30 million for expansion

Live Mint-Awfis raises funds from ChrysCapital, other investors

ET Realty-ChrysCapital invests $30 million in Awfis

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CNBC TV18-Awfis raises $30 million funding from ChrysCapital

BloombergQuint-Awfis Gets $30 Million Funding From ChrysCapital, Sequoia, Other
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The Indian Wire Delhi-based Awfis raises $30 million in series D round from
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Co-working spaces enter events business

27 June 2019

Co-working spaces enter events business

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Some of the events include networking sessions, hackathons or even a standup comedy show. GoWork, CoWrks, Awfis and WeWork are early movers in this revenue-generation stream.

CHENNAI: Imagine going to work in the morning and partying on the same premises in the evening. Co-working spaces across the country are doing exactly this to make money in more ways than just lending its offices as a work space. Having invested in swanky lounges and decors, these offices are opening up their conference rooms, cafeterias and other amenities to conduct events for their members and also third-party companies — all for a charge.

Some of the events include networking sessions, hackathons or even a standup comedy show. GoWork, CoWrks, Awfis and WeWork are early movers in this revenue-generation stream.

With events contributing 20% of revenues, GoWork looks to increase the contribution by another 5-10% this year, under its GoSocial wing. “Sometimes, non-member companies also use our facilities for the same charge,” said GoWork CEO & chief evangelist Sudeep Singh.

CoWrks, with the launch of its vertical Converge, offers their meeting and conference rooms on hourly charges. “Facilities are available at competitive rates in comparison to conducting events in any other 5-star hotel properties,” said CoWrks director (new products) Nruthya Madappa.

While Cowrks offers a per-hour charge, GoWork charges Rs 80,000 a day for a basic hackathon for 100 members. Seat charge for a person for basic amenities is Rs 6,500 per month.

Some of the spaces also offer a barter-based approach to non-member companies. “For instance, if an upcoming F&B brand approaches us, we ask them to provide food for our events in exchange for business opportunities. However, if such a mutual agreement can’t be drawn, third-party companies would have to pay a charge,” said Awfis AVP (marketing) Sukriti Pandey.

Sumeet Kapoor, CEO of Delhi-based startup Employwise, an occupant of Go-Work, finds it easy to plan and organise office HR functions. “It is not easy to conduct events for a gathering of 200-odd people,” he said.

Please visit the below link to read the published article:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/co-working-spaces-enter-events-business/articleshow/69967745.cms

Awfis opens its largest centre in Bengaluru

24 May 2019

Awfis opens its largest centre in Bengaluru

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Awfis Space Solutions operates its second largest centre, spread over 50,000 sq feet, in Pune, which is the biggest market for the company with 7,000 seats across 12 centres.

BENGALURU: India’s largest home-grown co-working space provider Awfis Space Solutions has opened its largest centre in the country in Bengaluru which is spread over 63,000 square feet and can house 1,050 workstations.

The company has 20 centres in southern India, including Hyderabad and Bengaluru, totalling 10,000 seats.

“Bengaluru is a big market and this is our fourth centre in a CBD (central business district) and 11th in Bengaluru,” said Sumit Lakhani, Chief Marketing Officer, Awfis Space Solutions

The centre is already 80% occupied as a result of pre-launch sale of its seats to clients such as Reliance Communications, Frontizo Business Services, Equal Experts and The Math Company.

Awfis Space Solutions operates its second largest centre, spread over 50,000 sq feet, in Pune, which is the biggest market for the company with 7,000 seats across 12 centres.

“We have a network of 63 centres and 30,000-plus seats spread across 10 cities and aim to double capacity to 60,000 seats in the next 12 months,” said Lakhani.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm saw its revenue jump nearly threefold year-on-year in 2018-19 to Rs 158 crore from Rs 56 crore. It expects an exit annual revenue run rate of Rs 400 crore by March 2020. “The company is already profitable since October 2018 at company level,” said Lakhani.

The company recently raised $20 million in series C funding from its existing investors – global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, The Three Sisters: Institutional Office (TTS:IO) led by Radha Kapoor and Temasek Group company InnoVen Capital – to support its growth plan.

Earlier, the firm had raised $31 million through two rounds from TTS:IO and founder Amit Ramani. In its maiden exposure to the company, the California-based Sequoia Capital invested $20 million.

Flexible workspaces account for about a fifth of office leasing in India. The emergence of space uptake in co-working affirms that corporates are aligned to a mixed portfolio strategy of fixed and flexible space. Total gross leasing volume in India touched almost 13 million sq feet during the first quarter of 2019, which was 1.45 times higher than the year-ago figure, showed data from Cushman & Wakefield India.

Visit the below link to read the article: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/awfis-opens-its-largest-centre-in-bengaluru/articleshow/69464280.cms