Co-living and co-working have been experiencing a lot of actions in the past two years. Several startups such as NestAway, Zolo Stay, Stanza Living, OxfordCaps has raised over $100 million collectively since March 2018. The segment heated up last year with the entry of SoftBank-backed OYO under the name of OYO Life.
While NestAway has been leasing flats in apartments and furnish them as shared accommodation for working professionals and students for a while, it now has launched a dedicated brand – Hello World in Bengaluru and Kota around the same concept.
“Unlike NestAway, Hello World takes entire building on long term lease. The model is similar to OYO Life,” said two sources aware of the plans. Besides co-living, it’s also offering co-working and student living options at the moment. “Student living is a sizeable opportunity in cities like Pune, Kota, and Bengaluru and Hello World has set up a separate team to drive it,” added sources.
Hasn’t NestAway been doing the same thing? Why has the company launched a separate brand?
NestAway’s positioning was different. Its premise was to weed out brokers. Like, NoBroker. With Hello World, the company also has ventured into a new segment – co-working.
NestAway has been in the market to raise over $100 million in a fresh round. It has been in talks with Tiger Global and a clutch of Chinese investors including Fosun and Shunwei Capital.
“The company has been positioning Hello World as an anchor in its fundraising as the new arm widens the monetary horizon for NestAway. It’s in conversation with multiple investors to mop out a larger round that can go up to $150 million,” said aforementioned sources.
NestAway co-founders Jitendra Jagadev and Amarendra Sahu are directors at Hello World Technologies India Pvt Ltd. Entrackr has verified this independently via MCA website. We have tried speaking to Jagadev for more information around Hello World. However, he didn’t respond to our request.
We will update the post as and when he responds to our detailed questionnaire.
Co-living and working opportunities are lucrative across cities such as Bengaluru, Pune, NCR, Hyderabad, and Chennai, according to a report from Knight Frank. Meanwhile, a PropTiger report anticipated that the segment could be worth $93 billion industry in a few years from now.
At present, the demand deficit is taken care of by the unorganized sector, and it always has a tonne of problems attached to it, which an organised industry can solve. Paying guest and unorganised hostels have a huge safety and hygiene concern among others.
Apart from startups, US-based private equity giant Warburg Pincus had formed a joint venture with mid-price hotel chain Lemon Tree Hotels for a co-living brand – Hamstede Living.
Both the firms had poured in Rs 1,500 crores each, starting Hamstede Living with a massive fund of Rs 3,000 crore.
Similarly, co-working has also seen several investments and new startups coming up during the year. The most obvious example being OYO Powerstation that was launched after the realty giant acquired an existing coworking startup, Innov8. Several other Coworking spaces such as Awfis, Cworks, and WeWork have been strengthening their foot in India while gaining fresh investments.