Moving to a new city for better career opportunities or for any other reason brings with itself all kinds of challenges. Finding accommodation in an unknown city is perhaps the first difficult task one has to overcome. Dealing with the brokers and landlords on multiple topics is something which many of us like to avoid. And, getting into an apartment doesn’t mean the end of all the hassles. Situations may even get worse if you don’t get a like-minded roommate! All those people who went through similar situations know how big the problem actually is. With an objective to provide a solution to this problem, Uday Lakkar, an IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus launched CoHo last year. It offers fully furnished comfortable home stay in the Delhi NCR region with a community of like-minded people.
Pioneering the concept of Co-Living Spaces in India
Uday has earlier worked in McKinsey, Morgan Stanley and IREO. In May 2014, he also launched Zocalo.in, a broker-free listing platform for rental properties and PGs.
“The hassle of finding an accommodation and the headache of managing and maintaining the space prompted us to start CoHo last year. And since no one in the market was doing this yet in India, it was another reason for starting this off.”
CoHo.in is a tech-enabled venture pioneering the concept of Co-Living Spaces in India with its offering of managed apartments and villas.
“We are transforming the way students and young professionals (between the ages of 18-32-millennials) live in India. The idea is to bring in superior living experience at affordable price points, by leveraging technology for seamless user interactions with end-to-end home services like housekeeping, repairs, maintenance, high-speed internet and other utilities.”
This Gurgaon-based venture raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a bunch of angel investors in May 2015. The list of investors include Dheeraj Jain, Managing Partner of Redcliffe Capital (London); Rajesh Sawhney, Co-Founder of InnerChef and Founder of GSF Accelerator; Sachin Bhatia, Co-Founder of trulymadly.com and Ex Co-Founder of MakeMyTrip; Mahesh Parasuraman, former Managing Director of the Carlyle Group; family office of large auto-comp groups; Udaan Angels and others.
Along the road of building a successful company, a startup founder often has to face many challenges. Creating the right culture within the team from day one is definitely one of those. And, in the initial stages, every startup faces this challenge since everything is being built from scratch. A positive company culture is always necessary for a business to excel.
“Being extremely careful in hiring and focussing more on the on-boarding process has been few things which we have done to continue the journey with the right team.”
The journey so far and future plans
It’s an asset light approach with very high life cycle value of a customer with annuity cash flows, with a typical contract life of 12 months and strong traction of 50%+ growth month on month and 90%+ average occupancy.
“CoHo plans to go in depth in each city before expanding geographically to other Tier 1 cities of India and also will be serving family audience soon apart from students and young professionals. Also, introduction of latest technology products like smart locks, virtual reality and energy saving appliances will help us further scale up the business.”
“If given a wish we would build a product that provides a better living to everyone.”