ZoloStays Property Solutions, the parent company of ZoloStays, has secured $30 million (INR 208.24 Cr) in a Series B funding round led by existing investor Nexus Venture Partners, along with participation from IDFC Alternatives and Mirae Asset. The round is estimated to have pushed up the startup’s valuation to $100 million (INR 694.14 Cr).
Bengaluru-based ZoloStays is a marketplace for property and real estate, including categories such as paying guest accommodation, serviced apartments, and co-living spaces. Zolo will primarily utilize the fresh fund for rapid expansion to other cities, strengthen its footprint in the 6 cities it is present in and invest in the student accommodation segment.
The company said it will also use the capital to extend the technology division and venture into new technologies like IoT to enhance its service offerings to customers.
ZoloStays, which currently operates in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, and Kota, was started by Nikhil Sikri, Akhil Sikri, and Sneha Choudhry in 2015. The company initially helped students and bachelors find accommodation along with meal options.
The startup is said to have 16K ‘live beds’ and 50K ‘locked-in beds’ under its two offerings — Zolo Standard and Zolo Select. It claims to be the largest co-living player in India. ZoloStays had raised $5 Mn (INR 347.07 Cr) in a Series A round in 2017.
The team claims to have seen an 800% growth with over 157 properties under Zolo management. The team is targeting over 50,000 beds from its current 16,000 beds by the end of the year.
The team then split its business model into two. One is a revenue-sharing model where the company acts as a service provider and manages the properties and the complete experience for a commission. The second is a lease model, where Zolo leases buildings from property owners and builders for three to nine months for anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh.
Currently, 70% of its revenues come from the lease model and the rest from a revenue-sharing model.
The company has reportedly grown twelve-fold since then and plans to ramp this up to 10X growth in the next two years. It also plans to boost its current staff strength of 350 by hiring another 200-300 by the end of 2019.
ZoloStay’s revenue from operations stood at $3.88 Mn (INR 27 Cr) for FY18 while it incurred a loss of $576.24K (INR 4 Cr), according to a report. The startup plans to clock $14.4 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in revenue in the next financial year. It has also partnered with large builders to launch fully managed accommodations, a concept that is popular in international cities such as Hong Kong and New York City.
Hospitality unicorn OYO too entered the housing rental segment last year to cater to the rising number of students and working professionals who look for such rental solutions to bring down the cost of living in a new city.
Another major player in the home rental space is NestAway Technologies, which is in talks to raise $100 Mn (INR 694.14 Cr), according to reports. The company has already raised $94.2 Mn (INR 652.5 Cr) from investors such as Tiger Global, IDG Ventures and Yuri Milner. Other companies in the co-living and home rental space include ZiffyHomes, Stanza, StayAbode, and CoHo.
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