ChrysCapital leads Series D funding round for co-working startup Awfis
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Delhi-based Awfis Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which offers shared working spaces, said it has closed a Series D round of fundraising led by private equity major ChrysCapital. 

The funding round of $30 million (about Rs 212 crore at current exchange rate) also saw participation from existing investors: Venture capital firm Sequoia and The Three Sisters: Institutional Office, which is the family office run by Radha Rana Kapoor, Raakhe Rana Kapoor, and Roshini Rana Kapoor, the three daughters of Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor. 

The proceeds would be used to introduce new products/services and further establish new micro markets in India while enriching the experience for community members. 

“The additional capital raised will support us in expanding our footprint in India with 400 plus centres and 200,000 seats over the next 36 months. Our focus is to fortify our base in Tier-I cities and further enter newer markets with expansion into Tier-II cities,” said Amit Ramani, founder and chief executive officer, Awfis. 

Awfis currently has 30,000 seats across 63 centres in 9 cities, with a member base of 25,000 plus customers. Awfis services over 1,500 companies with a varied clientele portfolio across corporates, startups, SMEs/MSMEs, and large enterprises. It forms its coworking community in India with companies like Syngenta, Dun &Bradstreet, Duff & Phelps, Hinduja Global Services, Vodafone, Reliance, Hitachi, Blazeclan, Zomato, and Practo. The company currently has a total real estate portfolio of two million square feet across India.

Awfis was founded by Amit Ramani in 2015 with initial funding from The Three Sisters: Institutional Office and himself. In 2017, Sequoia partnered Awfis to back the firm’s aggressive expansion plans. They received further backing from InnoVen Capital, Sequoia and The Three Sisters: Institutional Office in 2018.

“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,” said Ishaan Mittal, principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors. 

Maple Capital Advisors, a New Delhi-based investment banking firm, acted as the sole financial advisor for this round of funding. Maple had also worked on getting Awfis its first investor – Sequoia. 

Deals in the co-working segment

Co-working as a segment has taken off in recent years, with startups and established firms seeking to differentiate themselves by providing access to features which are economically flexible, and are not found in traditional working spaces.

Last month, the SoftBank-backed OYO Hotels & Homes acquired co-working space provider Innov8 to expand in the fast-growing segment. The move is part of the hospitality unicorn’s strategy of entering new areas to diversify its operations.  

Similarly, in October last year, Delhi-based office-sharing firm One Co.Work bought Mumbai-headquartered IShareSpace for about Rs 3.5 crore ($475,000).
Recently, co-working startup GoHive raised Rs 2.5 crore (about $359,175 at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round.

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