NestAway startup story, which has raised $104 million so far, plans to launch 350-400 homes for senior citizens by the year end. This project is currently in the pilot phase. Both citizens’ homes and single women/moms’ homes will consist of a mix of shared and family homes that are unfurnished, semi-furnished and fully-furnished.
Home rental start-up, Nestaway Technologies, plans to launch living spaces exclusively for women and senior citizens in Bengaluru by the end of 2019. It hopes to enter three new cities by December 2019 and ramp up its headcount with 360 additional hires over the next 12 months0.
“We are looking to scale up our tenant base of over 16,500 single women and single moms to 30,000 by next year. To achieve this, we are piloting living spaces for single women/moms in gated communities and in well-lit areas which are secure and will be adding 1,000 more homes for them by the year-end,” Amarendra Sahu, co-founder and CEO, Nestaway Technologies told BusinessLine.
“You will be pleasantly surprised to know that homeowners in Bengaluru are willing to offer a 30 per cent discount on rentals for single moms. This discount will mean a lot to single women as they spend over 40 per cent of their income on housing,” he said.
The start-up also hopes to increase its workforce by 40 per cent by adding 360 new hires in technology, product and operations roles in existing and new city launches. “We plan to foray into three new markets – Kolkata, Indore and Kochi by December,” said Sahu.
Their take on the Model Tenancy Act 2019
Nestaway acts as a property management firm for house owners by connecting them with prospective tenants and providing services from renting to re-renting, creating the rent agreement, renewing it, handling property damages, legal disputes etc.
Asked about the company’s compliance with the Model Tenancy Act 2019, drafted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,
Sahu said, “When we started, about 20 per cent of our owner base was reluctant to give their house on rent fearing eviction risks. We are already compliant with most terms mentioned in the Act, including two months of a security deposit, dispute resolution, rental security, timely refunds and non-discrimination of tenants based on gender, caste, religion, lifestyle and habits.
These services have been instrumental in growing our customer base to over 45,000 homes and 60,000 tenants. We have also instituted arbitration for governing rental disputes between owners and tenants and we haven’t seen any issue since the last four years.”
- Interestingly, Nestaway has convinced its homeowners in Bengaluru to bring down the 10-month security deposit taken from tenants, by half.
- In four and a half years Nestaway has built a presence across 13 cities including Bengaluru, Gurugram, Chennai, Hyderabad, Noida, Pune, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mumbai.
By the looks of it, Co-living could be the future of housing for India’s millennial workforce
India’s young, unmarried, and mobile professionals have long been viewed with suspicion by landlords for their perceived exuberance and brashness.
However, their housing nightmares may not last long, given the slew of start-ups betting on co-living as a solution to young urban Indians’ home-rental woes.
- Co-living, or community living, involves tenants sharing common areas such as the kitchen and the living room while still having some privacy—generally a personal bedroom.
- Over the last five years, co-living start-ups such as NestAway, Zolo, and CoHo have entered major Indian cities with backing from well-known investors like Sequoia Capital and Goldman Sachs.
- These firms are emerging as an alternative for an increasingly mobile generation—bred on technology, with no fixed home.
Millennials are good for business
Most co-living startups are targeting young professionals and university students, a rejected lot in India’s traditional rental market.
Housing complexes often put up signs banning “bachelor” tenants, perceived as not being traditional enough to live alongside families. This is no hoodwinking!
“Millennials are accustomed to convenience. They are willing to pay for premium services for a frictionless experience,” says Uday Lakkar, co-founder of the home-rental app CoHo. “But that convenience is missing when it comes to long-stay accommodation, where they are back to the good old world of brokers and judgemental landlords.”
“We help our residents save on brokerage, lock-in periods, and the hassle of the searching house helps and support services involved while moving to a new residence,” says OYO’s chief growth officer Kavikrut.
But it is not just the hunt for a home that the start-ups say they’ll simplify.
The country is also home to the world’s largest population of young people, one in three of whom is a migrant.
Shared housing is not new to young Indians. For decades, university students and young professionals on a budget have been staying as paying guests and in hostel accommodations, but co-living start-ups are revamping what until now had been a largely informal sector.