Noida-based shared workspace provider Smartworks Coworking Space Pvt Ltd (Smartworks) has raised $25 million from Singapore-based real estate firm Keppel Land Ltd. Smartworks, whose centres can seat 43,000 people across nine cities, plans to expand capacity five times over.
Smartworks has 23 operational centres in nine cities and offers 43,000 workstations over 2.3 million square feet. Over the next five years, it plans to grow to 20 million sq ft and seat 200,000 professionals. It has 400 clients, including Amazon Web Services, Bacardi, DHL, and EY.
This investment allows Keppel Land to enter one of the fastest-growing flexible office markets. “There are many opportunities for collaboration between Smartworks and Keppel Land’s smart serviced co-office platform, KLOUD, which currently has a presence in Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar,” said Keppel Land CEO Tan Swee Yiow.
Neetish Sarda, founder of Smartworks, said: “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 claimed that Smartworks was cash flow-positive and profitable at a consolidated level. With this strategic investment by Keppel Land, it will be able to scale up rapidly across India’s Tier-I and -II cities, invest in product, talent, technology and improve client experiences.
Smartworks provides office spaces that can be rapidly configured and customised to suit the needs of enterprise clients, in four to six weeks. It offers a full suite of solutions at a value price point without upfront capital expenditure.
All of its centres include common amenities like cafeterias, meeting spaces, training rooms, crèches, gymnasiums and first-aid clinics, which have been well-received by clients. It also uses a humanoid robot for operational duties.
Leasing activity in India’s commercial real estate segment rose 40 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), crossing 30 million sq feet in the first half of 2019, and is poised to reach 50 million sq feet by end-2019.
The above transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year.