writes copy 13 Feb 2018

1200 residents and counting: how CoHo is pioneering the coliving space in India

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CoHo helps young professionals find fully-furnished rental spaces with a community of like-minded people. The startup leverages its app to provide services to tenants.

 At a glance

Startup: CoHo

Founders: Uday Lakkar, Amber Sajid

Year it was founded: 2015

Where it is based: New Delhi

The problem it solves: Fully-furnished room rental platform

Sector: Housing/Rentals

Funding raised: Undisclosed seed round  

Finding an affordable place to stay in the city has long been an issue in urban areas, but the millenials, with their unconventional methods of tackling issues, have found newer and more affordable ways to cohabit living spaces. And companies like CoHo have cropped up to help them along their way.  

CoHo is a tech-enabled platform pioneering the concept of co-living spaces in India with its managed apartments and villas for a hassle-free living experience to the millennials. It provides managed rental accommodations for young professionals and students in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida.  

CoHo provides ready-to-move-in shared accommodations with all services for hassle-free living like housekeeping, WiFi, DTH Cable, repairs & maintenance, etc. Besides these, there are provisions for self-help amenities like smart locks, fully-automatic washing machines for laundry, ironing facilities, microwave and induction oven, fridge, tea/coffee machine, etc. The online concierge in the resident app makes sure the services are available easily for the digital-native generation.

CoHo was born out of a need and a pain-point, which is so fundamental to the youth in India yet unaddressed blatantly. Uday Lakkar can recollect several instances like that of his friend from IIM-A struggling to find an accommodation in India's largest metro city for more than a couple of months simply because of discrimination based on community background; another instance that he recollects was with himself, when he was shunned from entering so many residential societies in Gurgaon simply because he wanted to stay with his other bachelor friends from McKinsey. He says he even remember a notice board saying '˜Bachelors and Dogs are not allowed here'!

'œI feel that the overall quality of youth accommodations (for students and working professionals) in India is in an abysmal state with inconsistent services, poor infrastructure and no technology whatsoever. There is a crying need for a trusted brand with promise of consistent services at affordable price points in long-stay accommodations segment and we at CoHo are trying to create exactly that, our response from the market till now has been a testimony to the same,' says Uday.

CoHo was launched in the second half of 2015 and since then has grown to 1,200+ residents expanding in prominent areas in Delhi NCR. CoHo believes NCR still has a lot of scope and they'll be touching 2,000-2,500 residents in the next quarter with $3+ million annual revenue run rate.  

CoHo believes in heavily leveraging technology as a means of driving delight in resident experience. CoHo Resident App acts as a one-stop solution for all day-to-day engagement like customer on-boarding, fee payment, complaint redressal, privileged offers, community engagement, rating your experience etc. Besides, technology forms the strong backbone of all backend processes for efficient rapid scale-up. Both technology and community engagements in each CoHo space has been key to growing our community both emotionally and culturally. Introducing more convenience with 3D tours, smart locks, video intelligence, easy payment options, recreational lounge areas and community arenas is resonating with the millennials a lot more rather than traditional ways of getting a place to stay from landlords or brokers.  

CoHo operates on an asset-light and operational-light business model with strong focus on social experience of its residents. Typically they lease the buildings or take over on revenue sharing model from asset owners. Monthly fee for a CoHo space on sharing basis is typically between Rs 9,000 and 13,000 with all the amenities included.  

CoHo has raised seed funding from Sachin Bhatia (Co-founder, MakeMyTrip and TrulyMadly), Rajesh Sawhney (Co-founder, GSF and InnerChef), Mahesh Parasuraman (ex-MD, Carlyle PE), Dheeraj Jain (Partner, UK-based Hedge fund), amongst others. It's currently looking to close growth capital for further expansion.  

CoHo is expanding deeper in Delhi NCR currently and intends to expand to Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and other Tier I cities of India over next 18-30 months. The business model is scalable with huge depth in demand as well oversupply of real estate in almost all top Indian cities.

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