Awfis Space Solutions, South Asia’s network of collaborative co-working spaces, raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia India. The investment will be used to expand its centres, launch new products and services, and further enhance the existing technology platform.
The round will primarily be used to create a network of over 100 co-working centres with 35,000 seats in the next two years. Currently, the co-working space has over 21 workplaces across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and NCR with a seat count of over 7,500.
The member base at Awfis includes a network of 500 companies ranging from India’s leading startups/MSMEs to Fortune 500 companies, forming the largest co-working community in India.
Pankaj Karna, Managing Director at Maple Capital Advisors, says that over the years Awfis has demonstrated positive and superior unit economics. He adds that the infusion of capital from Sequoia will enable Awfis to expand and grow faster. Maple Capital Advisors was the financial advisor for the transaction.
Awfis claims to have a community of over 5,000 members and has an average occupancy of 90 percent across its established centres. The co-working space also offers a ‘just-in-time’ book facility.
Amit Ramani, Founder and CEO of Awfis, says that with the growing demand for co-working spaces, there is a focus on transforming under-utilised real estate assets and provide affordable work spaces for entrepreneurs. According to Abhay Pandey, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital, Awfis is promoting two significant global trends–communities and sharing economy.
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 places to work for the Awfis community.
With the rise in sharing economies, there are several co-working spaces that are coming up and gaining traction in the country. Some of the big names are Blume Ventures-backed BHIVE, Y-combinator-incubated Innov8, InstaOffice, and AltF Coworking. There also is the New York-based WeWork, with a presence in 15 countries, that is set to open its first centre in Benglauru.