Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 7 (Innov8)

As per NASSCOM, India with more than 3,100 new startups is the third biggest base for entrepreneurship in the world. With more than 800 new startups being set up every year, the nation would have 11,500 new startups by 2020, employing more than 2,50,000 individuals. India is not only the third largest nation for startups but also has the most expensive real estate. Early-stage startups in India struggle to find high quality and affordable office space. Innov8 solves this problem by providing them with an ergonomically designed flexible workspace.

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Innov8 Coworking is the first of its kind Thought space in India. Targeting a young audience, the Innov8 spaces are vibrant, funky and fresh. The popular deconstructed industrial modern look is in use here, with smooth wood finish communal tables, low-hanging light bulbs, and graffiti sprayed across various walls. It fosters community engagement of like-minded people irrespective of whether they are founders, investors, freelancers, creators or anyone who just want to work in a highly productive zone. Innov8 allows them to become a part of a thriving, collaborative network. It also conducts regular workshops, events, and interactive sessions with mentors and industry specialists which acts as enormous empowering agents in encouraging advancement and learning.

Founded in 2015 by IIT Kharagpur alum Shailesh Gupta and doctor-turned entrepreneur Ritesh Malik, Innov8, which was also a part of famed Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator’s 2016 batch, currently has 11 Co-Working spaces spanned across the nation. It raised funding through an angel round last year led by Venture Catalysts, LestVentures, and independent angel investors including Kunal Shah (Freecharge), Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Rajan Anandan (Google), Girish Mathrubhootham (Freshdesk), and others.

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The company has managed to build a strong community of over 4,000 members across its centers in India. Malik says, in India work is considered mundane and hence the idea was to create a good office that gets the best out of people.  As a co-working space, Innov8 is sector agnostic and has startups from every sector. “It is very important to have a diverse community so that when they talk to each other, opportunities emerge. It’s picking the best from different industries and having them mingle and forming their own community”, says Malik.

Innov8 has achieved many a milestone in this short span and is redefining coworking in India. It has on-boarded 190 companies as members and claims to have a 95% occupancy across all its centers. Its clients include well-known names such as Vice Media, Ratnakar Bank Limited (RBL Bank), and Swiggy.

The Growth Driver At Innov8

When Innov8 was starting out, startups had just started becoming mainstream in the Indian ecosystem and the atmosphere was electric, with everyone wanting a piece of the startup pie. Malik chose the coworking space as he saw potential there and ended up building and developing Innov8. The idea was to provide the best infrastructure and design facilities to members and empowering them by offering a world-class office space.

Competition:

For the development and accomplishment of a youthful organization, it is critical — and very difficult — to get through the solid mass of established players. What’s more, with international players like WeWork entering the market, it further reiterates the increasing demand for coworking in India. With eyes set on this demand, and a need to carve its own specialty, the group of homegrown experts at Innov8 is endeavoring to change how India works.

The co-working segment in India is speculated to get $400 Mn in investments by 2018 end, as indicated by a study by JLL. It is foreseen that by 2020, the co-working space will surpass the old traditional offices market.

Companies today are opting for coworking because of the flexible plans, design, facilities, and prime locations that coworking spaces offer. Startups, particularly, are choosing co-working spaces both in India and over the world. There is a likewise rise in enthusiasm from corporates and different organizations in this way of operating.  So, despite competition, Innov8 still has the opportunity to tap into a massive demand for coworking that is only set to increase in future.

Future:

“Building a high-class product at a value-conscious price with world-class service is our key strength. Going forward, the focus is scaling the model and integrating more verticals under shared economy space,” emphasizes Malik.
With the ambitious plan of acquiring 15,000 members in the next year alone, the company believes it has the soul of an underdog that will do anything to establish itself as a leading player in the coworking industry. And with the backing of US-based seed accelerator Y-Combinator and marquee investors Kunal Shah, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, LetsVenture, and more, it appears that Innov8 is all set to get ahead in the game.

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