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Startups

India coworking sector receives fresh funds as market expands

GoWork secures $53m in debt while Awfis draws $30m in Series D round

KOLKATA -- India's already crowded and competitive coworking space is facing another new funding wave after two local startups GoWork and Awfis recently secured their latest financing.

Gurgaon-based GoWork received a $53 million debt funding round, which is also its first from external investors including BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, and asset management firm CLSA Capital Partners.

Awfis also secured a $30 million Series D round led by private equity firm ChrysCapital. This round is also participated by existing investors Sequoia Capital and The Three Sisters, among others.

Two-year-old GoWork, operates two facilities in Gurgaon and plans to set up 50 centers across major Indian cities by 2025. The facilities offers a bar, lounge, gym, gaming arcade and more. Its clientele includes Paytm Mall, Impactify Consulting and Coverfox, among others.

Awfis, with a total of $81 million under its belt, already operates in 63 centers in nine cities, and is looking to aggressively add more than 400 centers in the next three years. Some of Awfis's clients include Vodafone, Reliance, Zomato, Hitachi and Practo.

The two successive capital injections into the coworking startups is a reflection of India's potential in its flexible working market. The world's second-most populous country now has more than 460 million millennials, accounting for 46% of its total workforce, who are more receptive to the idea of working in a flexible and tech-enabled environment.

There are more than 350 shared office companies operating in more than 800 locations- under the business center or coworking space formats -- across the nation, per a report by CBRE, a real estate services and investment company.

The other players in the field include international giant WeWork, 91Springboard, GoHive, and OYO Rooms which is a new entrant to the game. And the country's burgeoning gig economy will continue to fuel the need to switch to agile workspaces that promote collaboration and productivity, bolstering a sector that is estimated to be worth $390 million and will attract more than 13.5 million users by 2020.

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is under 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

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