Smartworks raises $25 million from Keppel Land in Series-A funding


BENGALURU: Singapore-based Keppel Land has invested US $25 million in Smartworks Coworking Space, a flexible space solutions provider for a minority stake.

The company will use the money to increase its desk counts across the cities where it already has presence and to enter new markets. It plans to take the total desk count to 65,000 by the end of this year from 25,000 now.

“This is series-A funding for the company and shows how global institution still believe in the growth of coworking space,” said Neetish Sarda founder of the company. “We plan to raise around $20 million addition through debt and internal accruals too,” he added.

The Delhi-based co-working spaces operator has signed 1 million sft lease agreements across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.

“This investment allows Keppel Land to enter one of the world’s fastest-growing flexible office markets, opening doors for further growth through this collaboration,” said Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land.

Presently, Smartworks has 23 operational centres in nine cities offering a total of about 43,000 workstations spread over 2.3 million sf. Its centres currently cater to over 400 organisations, comprising mainly large enterprises and high-growth startups such as Amazon Web Services, Bacardi Limited, DHL, Ernst & Young, Hitachi, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, Microsoft Corporation, Petronash, Red Hat, Ricoh and Samsung.

“Over the next five years, Smartworks plans to grow its footprint to 20 million sf and provide office solutions for over 200,000 working professionals,” said Harsh Binani co founder Smartworks.

Flexible workspaces offer several benefits including configured office solutions, networking activities and end-to-end amenities such as crèche facility and health and wellness programmes.

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The company plans to enter cities such as Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad with small-format facilities in coming years. The flexible space solutions provider has presence in nine major Indian cities, namely, Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune.

The co-working phenomenon is also gaining wider acceptance with the mainstream Indian occupier as big corporates today constitute approximately 50% of the overall client roster. This segment has seen up to 300% growth in the last three years and has made many of these firms to expand aggressively across major cities in the country apart from entering tier II cities.

CBRE South Asia Q3 office report says leasing activity rose by more than 30% annually, crossing 47 million sq. ft. during 2019 YTD (Jan-Sep). Tech corporates drove office space take-up in the country during 2019 YTD, share of the tech sector rose from 31% to 40%. They were followed by research, consulting & analytics companies (19%) and flexible space operators (15%).





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