Isthara Parks a co-living operator, has raised fresh round of capital from JM Financial Private Equity, an existing investor, along with Dubai-based Eagle Proprietary Investments Ltd and a few family offices.
The investors will pick up a significant minority stake in the company. The company has raised a total of $11 million of external capital so far.
The latest fundraise will help Isthara to capitalize on the growth momentum and further bolster its leadership position in the co-living and student housing sector in India.
Isthara could increase its bed count by three times from around 5,700 at the end of Mar’20 to more than 17,000 currently, despite the Covid pandemic, which dealt a severe a severe blow to the co-living and student housing industry with reverse migration of workers and students. Existing operators were forced to relook at their business models, cut costs, downsize, or shut shop completely. The company operates predominantly across Hyderabad, Bengaluru, NCR and Chennai.
Supported by its technology backbone, Isthara also added a new business segment – smart food courts – under which it assumes the role of the technology partner and vendor aggregator to help large educational institutes to digitize their food courts /cafeterias for more efficient management, the company statement said.
“Challenges of COVID presented us with an opportunity to strengthen our core and prime the business for growth in a capital efficient manner. We are grateful for the confidence shown by our investors in the team and our future plans. We look forward to make a transformational impact on how young Indians live,” said Gilbert James, MD, Isthara.
Founded in 2017 by Gilbert James Laurduraj, Isthara provides fully-furnished shared-living accommodation for working professionals and students, along with a host of amenities such as daily meals, Wi-Fi connectivity, gym facilities, laundry and housekeeping services, etc.
“The manner in which the Isthara management have responded to COVID-led disruptions is commendable. The Company has been able to meet its growth targets, and continue with the targeted operational improvements amid these tough times, which is an impressive feat. We have strong conviction in the sector story, and believe the COVID crisis will only expedite the shift from unorganized to organized co-living / student housing operators. We look forward to partnering with the new investors to help the Company achieve its growth objectives,” said Darius Pandole, MD & CEO – PE & Equity AIFs, JM Financial.
“The transaction underscores our confidence in the potential of the Indian markets and emphasizes Eagle’s investment approach of investing in strong management teams across sectors primed for growth,” said Elias Kawar, MD, Eagle Investments.