Rental accommodation space provider Grexter has raised $1.5 million (10.5 crore) in its pre-Series A round of funding from incubation platform Venture Catalysts. Arisht Jain of Samyakth Group and a number of angel investors participated in the round.
Grexter will use funds to enhance its inventory as well as to ramp up its technology architecture, Venture Catalysts said in a statement on Friday.
Owned and operated by Grexter Housing Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the startup provides fully furnished co-living spaces for students and working professionals who are looking for community living options. The company claims to have about 1,500 beds across Bengaluru.
“The rental accommodation sphere caters to one of the most basic needs of consumers yet it continues to be highly fragmented and plagued with key problems pertaining to quality, transparency and high brokerage fees. Grexter eliminates all these lacunae with its unique and tech-driven business model,” said Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder and president of Venture Catalysts.
The Bengaluru-based company was founded by IIT-Madras alumni Pratul Gupta and Nikhil Dosi in 2016. Gupta was an investment banker with Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank and had also worked with a venture capital fund called Acumen. Dosi has worked with Reliance Industries and Gopigeon, a Nexus Venture Partners-funded logistics startup.
“We are confident that with the mentorship and the influx of funds from Venture Catalysts we’d be able to accelerate the growth of Grexter and invigorate our tech platform as well. We envision to scale rapidly and accommodate over 5,000 beds by the end of 2019,” Gupta said.
Mumbai-based Venture Catalysts was set up in December 2015 by Sharma, Anil Jain, Anuj Golecha and Gaurav Jain. It typically invests between $250,000 and $1 million in early-stage startups.
Its recent investments include environmental intelligence startup Ambee, car financing company OTO Capital, bike-sharing app Mobycy, medical-technology startup iNICU, operating system maker PrimeOS and virtual trial room startup Try & Buy.
Emerging concept of co-living
As the concept of co-living is gaining mainstream acceptance in the country, the venture capital deal flow has picked up pace in this segment in recent years.
Early this week, Mumbai-based co-living space provider Zolo raised $30 million (Rs 208 crore) in a Series B round of funding led by private equity firm IDFC Alternatives, South Korea's Mirae Asset and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.
Private equity firm Warburg Pincus is setting up a joint venture with Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd that plans to invest as much as Rs 3,000 crore ($426 million) to develop full-service accommodation for students and young working professionals.
Warburg Pincus will hold a 68% stake in the joint venture while Lemon Tree will own 30%, the hospitality company said last month. The remaining 2% will be held by Lemon Tree chairman Patanjali Keswani.
In September last year, Delhi-based student accommodation platform Stanza Living raised Rs 73 crore ($10 million) in a fresh round led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.
In August, Housing Development Finance Corporation agreed to pick up a 25% stake in Good Host Spaces Pvt. Ltd, which offers student housing facilities under the brand name NewDoor (previously Yoho), for Rs 69.5 crore (a little less than $10 million).
In July, Bengaluru-based co-living space provider StayAbode raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a pre-Series A round of funding from Anupam Mittal, CEO at People Group; Japanese gaming company Akatsuki Inc. and Vineet Sekhsaria, head of real estate investing at investment bank Morgan Stanley.
In February, Noida-based Placio, which operates an eponymous student housing solutions platform, secured $2 million in a pre-Series A round from Singapore-based private equity fund Prestellar Ventures.