Swiss firm LGT in talks to back student housing startup Oxfordcaps

Hostels and student housing are interlinked.

Student housing startup Oxfordcaps is in talks to raise $30 million in an equity funding round which will help it expand to more cities and tie up with more universities, said two people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity as talks are private.

The round is expected to be led by Swiss investor LGT, via its impact investment platform Lightstone Aspada, valuing Oxfordcaps between $100-120 million after the round, said the people cited above.

LGT, which manages over $200 billion in assets, acquired Lightstone Aspada in August last year, with a plan to write larger growth stage cheques in startups.

Oxfordcaps, founded by Annu Talreja and Priyanka Gera in 2017, leases out existing hostel buildings, renovates it and provides amenities such as food, laundry and WiFi. It attracts students by tying up with universities for partnerships. While it started out in Singapore, it launched in India last year and is already in 10 cities including Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru.

It last raised $8 million in a Series A round in March last year from Kalaari Capital, Silicon Valley-based 500 startups and Times Internet.

Student housing startups have seen rising investor interest, as these firms look to formalize and standardise an otherwise fragmented market with hugely varying price points and facilities.

The other significant player in the space is Stanza Living, which has raised over $70 million in funding and claims to have over 45,000 beds across the country, and is valued at about $300 million, Mint reported on November 18 last year. Its investors include venture capital firms Sequoia Capital, Accel and Matrix Partners.

While student housing is a different and more targeted market than co-living, investors view them collectively as a play on a sector that has traditionally seen no application of technology or a common player across cities.

“It is still too early to pick a winner in the segment. Despite raising more money, Stanza (Living) is not significantly ahead of Oxfordcaps,” said an investor tracking the space, requesting anonymity.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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.