Being a bachelor, student or an unmarried couple in India may have some individual advantages in life but when it comes finding the right accommodation the road becomes tougher.
In a country where a majority of the population is students, 2.66 crore out of 3.5 crore students, migrate from different states to cities like Pune, Chennai, and Bengaluru for the sake of higher education.
Poor quality of housing, safety of the premises and lack of basic amenities is the biggest pain point for bachelors moving out of the home.
Germination of the idea
“In every problem there lies an opportunity. And I find the student housing space with tremendous potential,” says Suresh Rangarajan K, CEO, and founder of CoLive, who also sees a huge demand in the space amongst a mismatch between demand and supply by real estate developers, who do not cater to this young age group.
Suresh, who also has experience in banking, Internet, and real estate, founded CoLive to solve the housing challenges faced by millennials in 2016. “With the sole aim to create a living space where students, working professionals, young couple and senior citizens can live with like-minded and compatible flatmate,” adds Suresh.
The tech-enabled rental platform offers branded and serviced homes which are located near educational institutions and business hubs.
Leveraging FRAME to deliver full proof security
Apart from providing stylish homes at affordable prices, the startup has launched a facial recognition access management engine (FRAME) to ensure the highest level of security for renters.
“FRAME consists of Door Access Control Engine mechanism and BlackBox key management mechanism.” The FRAME feature will be operational at 20 select prime properties managed by CoLive.
The startup claims to serve the customers through five ‘S’ – stylish, safe, services, saving for the customers and, social.
“All homes are fully managed and serviced for the customer”, adds Suresh. Currently, it operates with 85 properties in four cities and has 3,000 beds as part of its inventory.
Anyone, who is looking to book a rental apartment has to do it through its app. CoLive app on google store has around 10k downloads. At present, CoLive is operational in cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Vellore, and Coimbatore.
“With a team of 80, we are planning to soon start operation in Thanjavur & Hyderabad,” quips Suresh.
Coliving in India: Market overview and competition
Globally, this segment, which has already attracted $200 billion, is essentially operated on a lease rental basis. The potential for success of the student housing real estate market in India is massive and poised to grow.
At present, according to a rough estimate, India’s market size of the residential rental market is $20 billion. In the recent years, the co-living space in the country has been sprouting up with startups like StayAbode, Zocalo, Stanza Living, among others.
Last year, startups operating in the space caught the attention of investors with several startups such as Nestaway, Stanza and StayAbode raised funds.
CoLive: Two ways solution for property owners and tenants
CoLive provides property management services to owners, and provide it to students, working professionals on rent. The platform claims to make a net profit of around 15 percent on each inventory.
In 2017, CoLive did a business of Rs 11 crore. “We plan to grow 100 per cent this year and aims for achieving revenue of Rs 25 crore”, says Suresh with a target to reach 10,000 beds by the end of this year.
To scale the business, “We are working with developers and influencing them to make more such apartments,” says Suresh.
The platform plans to expand its presence to 25 university towns and scale up its inventory to include a total of 10 lakh beds by 2021.