MUMBAI : Gurugram-based startup Housr, backed by leading real estate developers Abhishek Lodha and Pirojsha Godrej, is entering the growing shared-living space to target millennials in major Indian cities.

Started by real estate entrepreneurs Deepak Anand and Kalpesh Mehta, who had also founded Tribeca Developers that builds Trump Towers in India, Housr plans to spend $40-50 million over the next 18 months to expand its business across the country.

Apart from Lodha and Godrej, Housr has also received funding from Harsh Patodia, president-elect of industry body Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai). Patodia is also the chairman of Unimark Group.

Anand and Mehta did not disclose the amount the firm has received from these real estate builders.

“We will keep raising capital along the way... We did this first round of funding with trusted real estate names, where we got not just their money, but also expertise and, most importantly, their properties," Mehta said.

The firm has already leased two residential towers in Gurugram to launch its first shared-living property in the next four weeks. The two buildings will accommodate around 900 beds and will be available on a twin-sharing or a single-room basis. Prices could range from 10,000 to 25,000 per bed per month, depending on the type of room.

“Our journey from zero to 20,000 beds will continue with the existing inventory in the market. We are leasing out existing properties on a long term basis of around nine years. We will refurbish and re-purpose those existing properties, creating amenities...like gym, lounge, etc.," Anand said.

He added that the plan is to have around 50,000 beds across the nine cities, including Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kota, in the next one year.

A growing number of startups have been providing shared offices, as well as shared accommodation, over the last two years, capitalising on the increasing demand for such spaces.

More than 300 operators are providing co-working offices, while there are only a handful of companies present in the co-living or rental housing space.

The big names in the shared living space include startups such as NestAway and Oyo Homes. Hospitality firm Lemon Tree Ltd, backed by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, is gearing up to enter the rental housing sector, while other large real estate firms, such as the Brigade group, also plan to foray into the space.

According to real estate experts, the booming shared office space may soon be heading into a consolidation, leading to shutting down of several smaller operators. However, the co-living space is less explored despite a huge demand, especially from students and working professionals.

“There are about 50 million people between the age of 18 and 28 who live on rent. So, this is the kind of potential demand we see in that space. While the demand side is plentifully demonstrated, the supply side is the biggest constraint," Mehta said.

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