Sep 14, 2021

Keppel Land Writes Big Cheque to Coworking Firm Smartworks

Singapore-based Keppel Land Ltd, the property arm of business group Keppel Corporation, has invested $25 million (Rs 177 crore) in co-work space provider Smartworks Coworking Space Pvt. Ltd.

Tan Swee Yiow, chief executive officer at Keppel Land, said in a statement the investment allows the firm to enter one of the world’s fastest-growing flexible office markets, opening doors for further growth.

“There are also many opportunities for cross-learning and collaboration between Smartworks and Keppel Land’s smart serviced co-office platform, KLOUD, which currently has a presence in Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar,” Yiow said.

Neetish Sarda, founder at Smartworks, the latest transaction enables the firm to scale up business across Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and further invest in building up the next generation product.

Founded by Neetish Sarda and Harsh Binani in April 2016, Smartworks has 23 operational centres in nine cities offering a total of about 43,000 workstations spread over 2.3 million sq ft. It claims to cater to over 400 organisations including large enterprises and high-growth startups.

The firm provides office spaces which can be rapidly configured and customised in just four to six weeks according to the needs of the clients.

While residential real estate market has been under a sluggish phase, commercial realty has been on a strong footing on the back of strong leasing momentum. The share of co-work has been on an uphill journey in the commercial real estate market, giving momentum to firms such as Smartworks.

A lot of capital has been poured into the segment lately. Private equity and venture capital firms and real estate developers have backed co-work and co-living companies given the strong demand in the ecosystem.

Recently, Delhi-based co-work firm Awfis Space Solutions closed a Series D round of fundraising led by private equity major ChrysCapital.

Earlier this year, the SoftBank-backed OYO Hotels & Homes acquired co-working space provider Innov8 to expand in the fast-growing segment.

Also, co-working startup GoHive raised Rs 2.5 crore (about $359,175 at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round.

Keppel Land has presence in Singapore, China and Vietnam as its key markets while it continues to scale up in other markets such as Indonesia and India. It has a pipeline of about 46,000 homes in Singapore and overseas. It is also a leading prime office developer in Singapore and is committed to grow its commercial portfolio in key Asian cities.

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