Awfis, India’s largest shared workspace provider, has raised an additional $20 million series C funding from marquee investors Sequoia India and Innoven Capital and The Three Sisters: Institutional office TTS:IO led by Radha Kapoor Khanna. Sequoia Capital has also invested $20 million earlier in Awfis as part of Series B funding.
Awfis was jointly incubated by Amit Ramani and The Three Sisters: Institutional Office (TTS:IO) with a total capital investment of $11 million in April 2015. The fresh capital infusion will be used to bolster and deepen the Awfis network across India, launch new and innovative products/services and further enhance the existing technology platform.
In the last fiscal year, Awfis has scaled up to 25000 seats across 55 centres with a member base of 15,000+ as compared to 5,800 seats in 20 centres with a member base of 4000+ in July 2017. The member base at Awfis includes a growing network of 1200+ companies ranging from India’s leading startups/MSMEs to Fortune 500 companies, including Hinduja, Vodafone, Mercedes Benz, RBI, Hitachi, ShareKhan, Zomato, Practo etc. operating from various Awfis centres.
Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis said, “The additional capital will aid us in expanding our footprint in India with 100+ centres with 40,000+ seats in the next 12 months. Our priority is to deepen the penetration in existing markets and enter new cities with focus on Tier II locations.”
“We are extremely pleased with the progress Awfis has made over the last 3 years to emerge as the largest player in the Indian co-working space with over 25,000 seats. We are glad to back Awfis in this round and help further expand its leadership position through its innovative and asset light business model,” as quoted by Radha Kapoor Khanna, Creative Entrepreneur & Founder, TTS:IO.
With an aim to continuing to retain its leadership position and as part of aggressive expansion strategy, Awfis has inked lease deals totalling to 0.25m sq. ft. in the last 60 days across Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Noida. The company currently has a total RE footprint of 1.5 million sq. ft. across all existing markets in India. Awfis has a nation-wide network of 55 centres across 9 cities and 45 micro markets.
Apart from its own proprietary centres, Awfis also has a unique, asset light ‘managed aggregation’ model - partnering with space owners who have unused commercial space and transforming them into suitable workspaces. Under this model, space owners get higher returns to commiserate the risk (20% - 40% higher than market returns). Future growth for Awfis is driven via this model and the company intends to maintain 60% of inventory under Managed Aggregation model and 40% under Straight Lease model. Awfis is aggregating underutilised spaces in hotels and malls and converting them into shared workspaces.
The company claims to have a successful shared economy business model that not just provides a network of ready to use workspaces across India, but also offers value driven services that can be booked ‘just-in-time’ through its website and mobile app. Awfis has formed 100+ strategic partnerships that provide its community members seamless access to leading service providers in the fields of accounting, legal, recruitment, payments, web services, mail management, healthcare and insurance etc.
Awfis competes with the likes of BHIVE Workplace, Innov8, 91springboard, IndiQube, Creator’s Gurukul, and US-based coworking startup WeWork, among others. Recently, Bengaluru-based IndiQube raised $15 million (Rs 100 Cr) equity funding in a round led by WestBridge Capital.