People Group’s Anupam Mittal leads funding round in shared space firm myHQ

Delhi-based co-working space startup myHQ, run by JustWork Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.4 crore) in a new round of funding, a company statement said.

The round was led by Anupam Mittal, founder of People Group, which runs online matrimony site

The round also saw participation from Sachin Bhatia, co-founder of dating app TrulyMadly and travel portal MakeMyTrip; Nitish Mittersain, chief executive and founder of gaming firm Nazara Technologies; Singapore Angel Network; early-stage investment firms Outbox Ventures and Gemba Capital; and a few other angel investors from deals platform LetsVenture.

The startup will use the funds to expand its operations to over 200 spaces across three cities, strengthen its technology, and to build a strong offline and online community, the statement added.

myHQ was founded in 2016 by IIT-Delhi alumni Utkarsh Kawatra and Vinayak Agrawal. Prior to setting up myHQ, Kawatra was an investment analyst at venture capital fund Helion Ventures from February 2015 to January 2016, his LinkedIn profile shows. He is also the co-founder and chairman of BloodConnect Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, that tackles the problem of blood shortage. Agrawal has earlier worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs.

“With the growing demand for co-working across the country, our asset-light technology-enabled approach sets us apart and ensures we are able to run operationally profitable centres in each neighbourhood while being the most economical solution in the market,” Kawatra said in the statement.

myHQ curates spaces inside cafes, restaurants, offices and converts them into zones where people can work, meet and network. The startup’s target audience is entrepreneurs, independent freelancers and mobile corporate professionals. It operates on a subscription-based model where users can avail of the workspaces with lifetime validity and essentials such as wifi, discounted food and beverage plans, and free printing.

myHQ is currently present in Delhi NCR, with over 60 spaces and over 4,000 community members.

The startup claims to supports freelancers and small and medium-sized businesses. It also runs a mobile app, which provides users a platform to manage their subscription, reserve spaces and network with other like-minded community members.

“The major co-working space players in India are geared more towards corporates and can be too expensive for the SME/freelancer market. On the supply side, India is a high-rent retail market and so existing spaces like cafes, offices, hotels need to supplement their income,” People Group’s Mittal said.

In February last year, the company was inducted into Facebook’s FbStart programme.

In July 2016, myHQ raised $100,000 in funding from Outbox Ventures and Angad Pasricha of TCNS Clothing, who were the initial investors.

Co-working spaces in India
Startups in the sector run on two business models: in one, they either lease an office space or buy one, and in the other, startups use some sections within restaurants, cafes and other public areas as working spaces. Innov8, 91Springboard, CoLife, and InstaOffice follow the first model, while those such as myHQ follow the second one, while a startup like Awfis operates on a mix of the two models.

On Wednesday, Delhi-based Awfis raised $20 million in its Series C round of funding from existing investors Sequoia Capital and The Three Sisters: Institutional Office (TTS:IO), the family office run by Radha, Raakhe and Roshini Rana Kapoor, the three daughters of Yes Bank founder and managing director Rana Kapoor. Temasek-backed venture debt firm Innoven Capital was the new investor in this round.

In June, co-working space startup IndiQube secured $15 million (close to Rs 100 crore) in a Series A round from WestBridge Capital Partners.

Early this month, Bengaluru-based co-working startup ClayWorks raised $250,000 in venture debt from Nisus Fincorp, the non-banking financial arm of Nisus Finance.

A prominent player in the global co-working space is New York-based WeWork, which launched operations in India with a 2,200-seater community workspace called ‘WeWork Galaxy’ in Bengaluru.

Since then, it has opened three more co-working spaces with the latest being in Mumbai announced earlier this month.

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