Indian Co-Working Startup Smartworks To Raise $35 Million Growth Fund
Smartworks competes with Wework, Regus, Cowrks, Awfis, Oyo Workspace, Gowork, Goodworks, Skootr and several others for providing co-working spaces in India. (Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg)

Indian Co-Working Startup Smartworks To Raise $35 Million Growth Fund

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Indian co-working startup Smartworks is looking to raise $35-40 million in mix of debt and equity to fund its plans to nearly double its office-space portfolio to 5 million square feet by March 2020.

The three-year-old Noida-based company is also eyeing a twofold increase in revenue in 2019-20 to Rs 320 crore, said Managing Director Neetish Sarda. "With 2.8 million sq. ft., we are the second largest after the multinational Wework which has around 3 million of space under it portfolio,” he said.

According to Sarda, Smartworks plans to increase its office-space portfolio to 5 million square feet by the end of 2019-20 for which they will be investing close to $35-40 million. "Access to funds from banks and institutions like NBFCs is easy. A lot of private equity investors are also approaching us and we are evaluating them, but we cannot disclose more that at this moment," he said.

Smartworks ended 2018-19 with revenue of about Rs 110 crore with a profit margin of around 10 percent. "Our pan-India rentals on average are about Rs 10,000 a seat. We are confident of closing this fiscal with Rs 320 crore topline and profit margin of 20-30 percent," Sarda said.

The company, which is currently present in nine cities, including the National Capital Region centred on Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune, is also planning to expand into small towns. "Our immediate focus is consolidating in these nine cities. Then we will also enter one or two small towns but that is not going to be of significant scale... We will enter with 20,000-40,000 sqft size," said Sarda.

Smartworks competes with Wework, Regus, Cowrks, Awfis, Oyo Workspace, Gowork, Goodworks, Skootr and several others for providing co-working spaces in India. It will continue to focus on enterprises or multi-national companies as they offer better margins.

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