The co-living sector in India is currently facing several challenges as demand and occupancy levels remain a concern with people returning to their hometowns and many companies still allowing employees to work from home.
Zolo, which counts students and young professionals as its residents, will deploy the new funds to invest in technology, locking in more inventory, strengthening AI-driven operating platforms and growth.
There are over 500 Zolo facilities spread across ten cities and it plans to add another 500 to absorb future demand.
Given that it is a challenge for people to make long term commitments and provide large deposits, Zolo is offering flexibility between shared rooms and private rooms, no lock-ins, with only one month of rent as a deposit.
Zolo’s co-founder and CEO, Nikhil Sikri said: “We are creating a personalized living experience keeping the customer at the core. It allows them to personalize the way they live and work, all on their terms."
Gaurav Sharma, partner, Investcorp said, “We have always been excited about managed living as an asset class as it aligns to our thesis to capitalize on the megatrend of urban migration."
Zolo believes that a key avenue of growth is partnering with developers in conceptualizing ‘built to suit’ co-living spaces. It has more than 5 million square feet worth of ‘built to suit’ discussions underway.
Zolo is also launching a premium brand extension called Zolo Red Carpet which will have micro-living spaces that will include wellness studios, all-day in-house cafes, workspaces, exquisite decor, and concierge services.
Sameer Brij Verma, MD, Nexus Venture said, “…Zolo is now benefiting from the supply side disruptions as other unorganized operators are not able to sustain service levels in the tough environment. With scale, Zolo’ value proposition to both the customer and the asset owner would substantially increase due to the network effect - thus allowing Zolo to win a disproportionate share of the $20 billlion managed living services market."
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