India: Co-working startup 91springboard raises $5.9m in fresh funding

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Co-working startup 91springboard Tuesday said it has raised about $5.9 million (Rs45 crore) in a fresh round of funding from its existing investors.

While 91springboard did not disclose the identity of its investors, according to a report in The Economic Times, Singapore-based marketing technology company Freakout and Shinsei Bank of Japan took part in the financing.

“91springboard is one of few coworking players that has been profitable on a company level…We plan to utilise it by offering new-age and customised solutions that will help all our members adapt to the new normal,” said Anand Vemuri, chief executive, 91springboard.

The funding for 91springboard comes at a time when the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the co-working industry to re-calibrate, reduce office spaces, and renegotiate rental agreements.

“We have reopened 14 of our 27 coworking spaces across India. These 14 office spaces are located in Delhi NCR, Gurugram, Noida, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Goa. The rest of the spaces will reopen soon based on government advisories and our own assessment of health and safety. We have received an encouraging response from our members with nearly 60 percent of members returning or committed to returning soon to our co-working spaces,” Vemuri added.

As India went into the first phase of lockdown starting 25 March, 91springboard claims to have paused it’s billing cycle on membership plans offering some respite. It also launched two key initiatives to assist its members during the lockdown.

The ‘startups vs COVID initiative’ consolidated all efforts being taken by investors, government departments, and stakeholders to support startups tackling issues pertaining to COVID-19. It also launched 91S Live, a user engagement platform, which offered information ranging from learning and knowledge (professional and personal) workshops, health and wellness stories, and COVID-19 updates.

The company also claims to have recorded a 2X growth in demand from large enterprise teams as they are now looking for benefits like flexibility, PAN India access, strategic partnerships and much more. Founded in 2012, 91springboard’s clientele includes Zomato, OLX, TataSky, Cleartrip, IndiaMart and Groww, among others.

Per a recent CBRE report, while the coworking industry is likely to witness short-term challenges in the coming months given COVID 19 restrictions, the co-working sector’s long-term fundamentals remain sound.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.