Mumbai: RMZ Corp-backed shared office space provider CoWrks is looking to buy property technology firms to fuel a planned expansion across India and abroad in the next one year, a top company executive said.
The company has leased around 80,000 sq. ft at DLF Cybercity in Gurugram in its one of the biggest lease deal, CoWrks chief executive Sidharth Menda said in an interview. Set to open in June, the centre will have around 1,000 seats. This will be its fourth co-working office in the National Capital Region (NCR).
CoWrks has set an ambitious target to have around 75-80 centres by this year-end, a three-fold increase from its existing number.
“We are looking at acquisitions at the technology front. But not another co-working operator. We would want to acquire a firm that would strengthen our technology and that would give us unique competitive advantage," Menda said, adding the company plans to acquire companies building prop-tech (or property technology).
“For instance, data companies, workspace analytics etc. are helping large companies in many ways. A lot of companies are also using Internet of Things to figure out how seats are being utilized. Besides, there are others (technologies) in the value chain. Like tools to help us construct better or tools to help us acquire properties faster," said Menda.
He declined to say how much CoWrks plans to spend on the acquisitions.
With 200 co-working operators in the country, the shared office market has seen a boom in the last two years. One of CoWrks’s biggest competitors, US-based WeWork has been aggressively expanding in India particularly in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi-NCR. While CoWrks has 23 centres across these three metros, it is also looking to expand into Tier II cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Indore and Jaipur, apart from overseas locations.
The plan is to get into 10 cities by the end of this year, Menda added.
“We have around 23,000 members today. We plan to take it to about 75,000 members and have close to 80 centres by the end of this year. Out of the total, our plan is to have few (offices) of them overseas. We are looking at international growth as well," Menda said, adding the new centres outside the country are likely to be in Europe and South-East Asia.