Singapore’s Keppel Land Ltd has invested $25 million in Smartworks Coworking Space Pvt. Ltd, a flexible space solutions provider, at a time when investors are cautious about committing capital to co-working operators after New York-based WeWork’s failure to pull off a share sale.
Smartworks, which has sold a minority stake to Keppel Land, plans to use the capital to not only grow in the nine cities it operates in but also make inroads into smaller cities such as Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and Chandigarh, said a company executive.
The firm has 23 operational centres with 43,000 workstations and plans to scale that up to 90,000-100,000 in the next 15-18 months.
“The flexible space segment in India has been growing rapidly and Smartworks has been an active participant in this business over the past three years, with a large and widespread network across nine cities. Smartworks is also already cash flow positive and is profitable at a consolidated level,” said founder Neetish Sarda.
“Smartworks’ innovative business model, coupled with its strong knowledge of the Indian enterprise office segment and execution abilities, is highly scalable and relevant, particularly in India’s growing market for commercial office spaces. 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,” said Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land. “There are many opportunities for cross-learning and collaboration between Smartworks and Keppel Land’s smart serviced co-office platform, KLOUD, which currently has presence in Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar.”
Sarda said Smartworks’ differential edge would be that it almost entirely focuses on enterprises as its customers and that 90% of its revenue comes from them.
This article was first published on livemint.com.