Coworking space Smartworks raises $25 Mn from Singapore based Keppel Land

Smartworks Coworking Space, a flexible space solutions provider has raised $25 Mn in its Series A round of funding from Singapore-based Keppel Land for a minority stake. The company will use the money to increase its desk counts across the cities where it already has a presence and to enter new markets. On the anvil, are plans to take the total desk count to 65,000 by the end of this year from 25,000 currently and reach over 200,000 professionals in the next five years.

Neetish Sarda founder of the company stated, “We are delighted to partner with Keppel Land, Asia’s premier real estate developer and multi-faceted property company. The flexible space segment in India has been growing rapidly, and Smartworks has been an active participant with a large and widespread network across nine cities.

He added that the coworking space plans to around $20 Mn more through debt and internal accruals.

Currently, Smartworks has 23 operational centres in nine cities offering a total of about 43,000 workstations. Its centres currently cater to over 400 organizations, such as Amazon Web Services, Bacardi Limited, DHL, Ernst & Young, Hitachi, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, and Microsoft Corporation, among others.

Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land stated, “This investment allows Keppel Land to enter one of the world’s fastest-growing flexible office markets, opening doors for further growth through this collaboration.”

This investment also allows for collaboration opportunities between Smartworks and Keppel Land’s smart serviced co-office platform, KLOUD, which currently has a presence in Singapore, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

Interestingly, the funding comes at a time when investors are wary about investing in coworking operators after New York-based WeWork’s IPO debacle and consequent job losses. It will be interesting to see if Smartworks, which has plans to make inroads into smaller cities such as Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, and Chandigarh will be able to sustain over the long term.