[Funding alert] Silicon Valley’s JLL Spark backs Indian flex-space tech startup Qdesq

JLL Spark has invested an undisclosed amount in the flexible workspace aggregator to tap into the burgeoning coworking market in the country.

JLL Spark, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital arm of JLL, has invested an undisclosed amount in Gurugram-based flex-space technology platform Qdesq

Through this investment, the proptech-focused fund has marked its first India focused investment, it said in a statement. 

Ramesh Nair, CEO & Country Head – India, JLL, said,

“The investment in Qdesq taps into the growth opportunity that the flexible workspace segment offers. JLL’s strong corporate relationships across the globe, combined with Qdesq’s technology platform and preferred partnerships with flex space operators, will help us provide a more comprehensive solution to our clients across 35 cities in India.” 

Qdesq founders Paras Arora (L) and Lavesh Bhandari

Founded in 2015 by Paras Arora and Lavesh Bhandari, Qdesq is a digital platform that allows companies to transact flexible workspaces, managed workplaces, virtual offices, and individual offices. 

At present, Qdesq has approximately 2,200 centres, lists over 500,000 desks in real time, and covering the 35 Indian cities including Gurugram, Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad, among others. 

With this investment, the company said it plans to invest heavily into the analytics capabilities of its technology platform to allow enterprises to better self-solution their future real estate footprint and to allow commercial asset owners to create viable co-working and flex spaces within commercial complexes. 

Paras Arora, Co-founder of Qdesq, added,

“The average time it takes to close a fixed time lease today is anywhere between three and six months. In comparison, Qdesq is able to close even large enterprise occupancy requirements within days. Our transaction volumes have been growing over 400 percent year-on-year and, with our shared vision with JLL, the opportunity is to scale the platform across Asia."

The company recently launched in the Philippines and plans to be present in most of Asia’s gateway cities in the near term.

According to a JLL study, the share of coworking office leasing has risen to 15 percent in the first six months (January to June) of 2019 from the eight percent level seen in 2018. India is one of the largest potential markets for coworking spaces in Asia, second only to China.

The study finds that the average size of transactions in the co-working segment increased from 37,000 square ft in 2017 to 52,000 sq ft in 2018 and further to 97,000 sq ft in the first half of 2019. 

Qdesq provides real estate occupancy requirements for a wide variety of clients like Zomato, PhonePe, Zerodha, Bank of Baroda, Nagarro, and Hyundai.

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar) 


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