The Noida based student housing accommodation startup Placio has raised $2 million pre-series A funding. The funds will primarily be used to improve quality of student living in India and Southeast Asia.
Placio, Delhi-NCR based student housing startup has raised $2 million pre-series A funding led by Singapore based private equity firm Prestellar Ventures. The fundraise will be primarily utilised to provide superior quality student living experience in India and Southeast Asia.
The funding will also help Placio redefine student hostel hospitality sector by increasing the existing capacity 20 times this year.
The team also plans to also acquire additional beds and help build a seamless technology platform for students with features like a hostel management system, roommate matching and search, value-added services like food ordering, booking of events, CRM system and others via in-house mobile wallet.
A growing market
Rohit Pateria, Co-founder and CEO Placio says student housing is a relatively new and yet growing segment in India. He says the market currently has an undersupply of built accommodation for students in India.
The team claims the total number of beds in campus housing and private hostels currently available in India is close to 6.1 million. Placio believes there is an immense untapped market with 50 million students studying in colleges and universities and 60-65 percent students studying outside their hometown.
With the funding now in place from Prestellar Ventures, Placio intends to capitalise on this large potential market. In a press statement released by the company, Atim Kabra, Board of Directors and Investment Committee of Prestellar Ventures said:
“Placio is a highly scalable venture whose IT-enabled processes provide an organised structure in a highly fragmented industry. We will work alongside the very competent Placio team and offer significant value-additions through the hospitality arm of CG Group.”
What does it do?
A professionally managed, student housing initiative, Placio offers fully furnished private and shared accommodation for students. The platform is built on the belief of community-based living and entails co-living in an environment where the user’s experience is more important than simple living.
Speaking about the venture, Rohit says:
“Our room-matching algorithms ensure like-minded individuals connect and live together and enjoy their college life to the fullest in housing that is independent yet secure.”
The platform offers carefully curated places of living, which are not only comfortable but also affordable for college-going students. Placio caters to all kind of accommodation requirements, from basic budget to high-end luxury accommodation with pool/TT tables, play station, book exchange counters, and other facilities.
“Placio has been able to address the needs of the rapidly expanding college student population of India - by providing safe, clean, amenity-filled housing with a strong community and technology backbone. The company has been able to grow its footprint so far with limited resources and we hope to provide the company with capital and our in-house platform for its next phase of exponential growth,” said Rabindra Shrestha, Managing Partner of Prestellar Ventures.
The market space
The market for student accommodation seems to be growing even in India, where it is believed to be worth $3 million. A survey conducted last year suggested that there were close to 50 lakh students enrolling in colleges and universities across 20 cities in the country.
Of these, close to 54 percent were from other cities, and only 4.8 lakh hostel seats were available for the base of 27.5 lakh students. This meant that the remaining students had to seek accommodation at PGs or flats.
Gaurav Munjal founded Flat.to—acquired by Commonfloor — to help students find relevant accommodation. Apart from that, there also is Housing Anywhere, an international platform that helps students find accommodation as per their requirements in 118 countries and 531 cities. Then there are big players like Student.com and Uniplaces.
In India, hotel aggregator Wudstay is looking to expand aggressively in this space. The company claims to have provided over 35,000 beds since the launch of its hostel and PG network across five cities, starting with Kota in Rajasthan.
There are also Delhi-based Studentacco and University Living started by students from the UK. The main differentiator for Placio is that apart from promising to fulfil your basic housing needs like a bed, mattress, hygienic living conditions, food, clean drinking water, security, power backup, it gives parents peace of mind by offering round-the-clock rescue and emergency command centre helpline in association with 24x7 response.
Ankush Arora, Co-founder, and COO, Placio says,
“Placio is a complete broker-free platform that inspires community living where for us our consumers' experience is more important than simply providing housing for students. Placio brings into light the refreshing, modern yet secure concept of co-living which will help young, like-minded students to live together and connect.”