Noida-based Rental Stay Pvt. Ltd, which operates student housing solutions platform Placio.in, has raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round from Singapore-based private equity fund Prestellar Ventures.
In a press statement, Placio said it will use the money to increase its capacity 20 times by adding more beds, and further strengthening its technology platform with hostel management and roommate matching solutions. It is also considering the launch of an in-house mobile wallet to offer value-added services such as food ordering, events bookings and customer relationship management.
According to Rohit Pateria, co-founder and CEO, Placio, student housing is an interesting growth sector, given that there is a huge demand-supply mismatch in purpose-built accommodation for students in India. “Our vision is to entirely redefine ‘student living’ by creating boundary-blurring spaces and colourful experiences to connect and thrive in smart design co-living.”
Founded by Pateria and Ankush Arora in 2016, the startup curates modern living spaces, fully-furnished rooms, private rooms and personal apartments in localities in and around university campuses with adequate amenities. Placio, which is incubated at the Amity Business Incubator, currently manages over 15 properties.
Click-a-Home Services founder Atul Kumar Singh had also joined the startup team after his venture was acquired by Placio.
“Placio has been able to address the needs of the rapidly expanding college student population of India by providing safe, clean and 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 it with capital and our in-house platform for its next phase of growth.” said Rabindra Shrestha, managing partner, Prestellar Ventures.
Mumbai-based Rajani Associates acted as the legal adviser to Prestellar Ventures on this transaction.
The PE firm, which is promoted by Nepal-based billion-dollar multinational family business conglomerate CG Corp Global, said it will work alongside the Placio team and offer significant value additions through its hospitality arm.
Placio is, however, not alone in the students’ hostel space to attract investor interest. Last November, Delhi-based Dtwelve Spaces Pvt. Ltd, which runs student accommodation platform Stanza Living, had raised an undisclosed amount in its first institutional funding round co-led by Matrix Partners and Accel.
TurningIdeas Solutions-incubated student housing startup Your-space had raised $500,000 in angel funding in March 2017.
In December 2016, Campus Students Communities Pvt. Ltd, a Bengaluru-based startup providing student housing under the Campusville brand, had raised Series A funding from an institutional investor, and was also in advanced stages of discussion with an institutional investor to raise its Series B round.
Social venture capital investor Acumen had invested an undisclosed amount in Aarusha Homes Pvt. Ltd, which runs a chain of low-budget hostels for students and migrant workers.