Awfis, India’s largest network of coworking spaces, has raised an additional ~ $30 million in its fourth round of funding from marquee investor ChrysCapital. Existing investors, Sequoia India & The Three Sisters Institutional Office also participated in the current round. The fresh capital infusion will be used to further its commitment towards building the largest network of futuristic workspaces to service the needs of growing India. The funds will also be used to introduce new and innovative products/services and further establish new micro-markets in India while enriching the experience for its community members.
Awfis was founded by Amit Ramani in 2015 with initial funding from The Three Sisters: Institutional Office (TTS:IO) & himself. In 2017, Sequoia India partnered with Awfis to back the firm’s aggressive expansion plans. They received further backing from Innoven Capital, Sequoia India & TTSIO in 2018.
Awfis currently has 30,000 seats across 63 centres in 9 cities with a member base of 25,000+ customers as compared to 5,800 seats in 20 centres with a member base of 4000+ in July 2017. Awfis services over 1500+ companies with a varied clientele portfolio across Corporates, Startups, SMEs / MSMEs to large enterprises, forming the largest coworking community in India with companies like Syngenta, Dun &Bradstreet, Duff & Phelps, Hinduja Global Services, Vodafone, Reliance, Hitachi, Blazeclan, Syngenta, Zomato, Practo etc. operating from various Awfis centres. The company currently has a total Real Estate portfolio of ~2 million sq. ft. across India.
Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis said, “The Awfis exponential growth has been supported by marquee investors including Sequoia India, TTSIO & Innovate. We are delighted to have ChrysCapital as a partner as we continue to focus our efforts to deliver stellar & affordable workspaces for growing India. The coworking segment has witnessed phenomenal growth over the last 3 years and Awfis with its largest network has played its role in contributing towards the building of ‘New India’. We have embarked on our mission to develop a cohesive community of entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates that coexists in its centres to engage for professional and personal enrichment. The additional capital raised will support us in expanding our footprint in India with 400+ centres & 200,000 seats over the next 36 months. Our focus is to fortify our base in Tier 1 cities and further enter the newer market with expansion into Tier 2 cities.”
Sharing his views on the funding, Kshitij Sheth, Vice President - ChrysCapital said, “ChrysCapital is thrilled to partner with Amit and his team and invests in Awfis. Coworking 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 have encouraged ChrysCapital to associate with them. The Company is successfully spearheading the coworking industry. ChrysCapital is extremely optimistic about Awfis’ growth and strongly believes in Amit and his team and their commitment to creating a modern, economical, hassle-free, conducive ecosystem for India’s growing work-force.”
Ishaan Mittal, Principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors said, “Sequoia has invested in companies capturing the shared economy market across the world - Airbnb, Uber and Ola are just some examples. Commercial real estate is as large a market, if not larger, than any other shared economy. Awfis found their product-market-fit very early and since then Amit and his team have focused on delivering a frictionless experience to all their clients. We have always been impressed with their consistently high NPS. Sequoia India is happy to continue partnering with them as they outperform competitors to create the largest network of coworking spaces across India.”
Speaking on the association Radha Kapoor Khanna - Sponsor, TTS:IO said, “Awfis has received unprecedented success in the coworking segment and has emerged as the largest player in this segment owing to the profound understanding of the customer demands along with the introduction of innovative offerings. With a strong focus on customer experience at affordable price-points, we believe that Awfis will continue to pioneer the industry. We are looking forward to Awfis’ expansion in the coming years”
Maple Capital Advisors, a New Delhi based investment banking firm, acted as the sole financial advisors for this round of funding. Pankaj Karna, Founder and MD of Maple Capital Advisors,said, “We are delighted to be associated with the largest growth capital raise in the coworking space in India and doing it again after inducting Sequoia in 2017. Awfis under Amit and the current team has built a profitable market-leading business that has an extremely bright future with best in class investors backing”.
Awfis’ focus on core first principles has allowed a rapid expansion while remaining profitable as a business. The accelerated growth is supported by unique and asset-light ‘managed aggregation model’ which has established Awfis as a market leader with the largest workspace footprint in India. To add to innovative offerings, Awfis has recently launched Awfis Enterprise Solutions, which focuses on customized offerings and a hassle-free way for an enterprise to outsource the designing, building & managing of their ‘own’ office space thus allowing them to solely focus on running their business. The company has a successfully 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.