Zolostays in talks with Credit Suisse for $100 million funding

PTI Mumbai | Updated on November 24, 2019

Nikhil Sikri, Co-Founder & CEO, Zolostays

Says student living portfolio will be limited to 10 per cent at least for the the next few years

Nexus Venture Partners-backed co-living space provider Zolostays is in talks with Credit Suisse to raise around $100 million (about Rs 710 crore) to fund its expansion plans, a top company official said.

The Bengaluru-based firm is planning to increase its portfolio to 2 lakh beds by the end of 2021, Zolostays co-founder and Chief Executive Nikhil Sikri said.

“We are in talks with Credit Suisse to raise $100 million in Series C round to fund our expansion plans to increase the number of beds to 2 lakh,” he said, adding the company will also increase its headcount.

However, Sikri didn’t offer any timeline for the funding plan.

In January 2019, Zolostays had raised $30 million in Series B funding round led by IDFC Alternatives, Mirae Asset and Nexus Venture Partners.

Founded in 2015, by brothers Nikhil and Akhil Sikri, the company had raised $5 million in Series A round led by Nexus Venture Partners.

Currently, the shared space market is estimated at around 10 million beds and the organised sector, which includes co-living service providers, contributes under 1 per cent.

“We have a portfolio of 35,000 beds spanning nine cities, which includes 3,000 dedicated to students. Additionally, 15,000 beds are under various stages of development and will be live before March. Our target is to have 2 lakh beds by 2021-end,” Sikri said.

However, he ruled out expanding too much into the students space or entering new cities.

Sikri said Zolostays’ student living portfolio will be limited to 10 per cent at least for the the next few years.

While adding more beds, the focus will be existing markets only, he said, adding “We are present in nine cities -- Bengaluru, Chennai, Kota, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Noida and Coimbatore -- and will limit ourselves to these cities as we know these markets well .”

Zolostays boasts of marquee realty developers like Godrej Properties, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Sobha Developers, Olympia Group, DRA, and Ozone Group as it partners.

Explaining the business model, Sikri said, “We either lease out an entire building from the developer or share the upside with them. Given the current slowdown in the realty sector, many developers are looking to partner with people like us as they are assured of good returns.”

Published on November 24, 2019

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