14 Jan 2024 11:18 AM GMT


Co-living startups expanding business to tap rising demand


startup settl in co-living segment raises rs.10 crore


Stanza, Colive, Zolo, Olive by Embassy, Your Space, Settl., Union Living and Coho are some of the co-living operators providing rental accommodations to students and professionals.

New Delhi: Co-living operators are looking to expand their businesses and open more centres in the new year, as they expect demand for fully-serviced rental accommodation to rise from working professionals and students, according to industry players.

The co-living segment was worst affected during the COVID pandemic as educational institutions and offices were closed to curb the spread of the disease. Many co-living operators shut down their operations permanently or scaled down their businesses.

In the last two years, co-living operators, who survived the onslaught of the pandemic, have been trying to regain the lost ground and recoup the losses as normalcy returned, leading to the opening of educational institutes and the gradual return of employees to offices.

Stanza, Colive, Zolo, Olive by Embassy, Your Space, Settl., Union Living and Coho are some of the co-living operators providing rental accommodations to students and professionals.

When asked about the year gone by and outlook for 2024, a Stanza spokesperson said, "After navigating and accelerating growth in our business through the two challenging years of the pandemic, 2023 marked our first full year of uninterrupted operations in the post-COVID world. This past calendar year, we witnessed a significant surge in our occupancies across the country and a record year for us with substantial growth of 5-6x in revenue vis-a-vis the previous year".

Stanza has a capacity of more than 70,000 live beds across 25 cities.

"As we step into 2024, our primary focus remains on strengthening operations across the markets we serve and solidifying our leadership position," the spokesperson said, adding that the company would soon hit corporate profitability.

Sunny Garg, co-founder and CEO of CRIB, which provides tech solutions for better management of co-living facilities, said the demand for rental accommodations saw a resurgence last year after a subdued phase due to the pandemic.

Many service providers in this sector are integrating technology for enhanced management and improved tenant experiences, he said.

In 2023, Garg said, his company on-boarded over one lakh beds into its management portfolio, taking the total to 1.5 lakh beds since its establishment.

"With our user-friendly and efficient app, offered at a competitive per-bed fee, we aim to exceed 5 lakh beds in the next calendar year," Garg said.

Abhishek Tripathi, co-founder, Settl., said there was a noticeable demand for managed co-living spaces in 2023 from professionals, especially since most companies have resumed office operations with their entire workforce, and the prevalence of work-from-home has significantly reduced.

"We introduced over 2,000 beds last year in cities like Bengaluru and Gurugram, all reserved even before their official launch. For 2024, we have plans to enhance our facilities in current locations and explore opportunities in new cities. Given the strong demand, we aim to introduce 5,000 beds in the upcoming year," Tripathi said.

Settl. has recently raised Rs 10 crore from investors to expand its business.

Parth Soni, founder, of Union Living, said the coliving segment has witnessed exceptional demand and high occupancy levels during the last year.

"Both students and corporate employees are increasingly turning to these accommodations for their convenience, hygiene standards, and elevated living experiences, complemented by a sense of community," he said.

Looking ahead to growth prospects in 2024, Soni said the momentum is expected to continue.

"We have robust expansion plans that involve adding more beds to our existing markets, such as Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad. Furthermore, we are strategically gearing up to enter new markets, including Gift City in Gujarat, recognising the significant potential for such offerings in these areas," he said.

Union Living said it is currently operating 1,100 beds and is planning to scale to 4,500 beds by the end of 2024.