Startup50 Consumer Brand

In Startup 50 2017: StayAbode, funded by Incubate Fund and angel investors, is one of India’s first co-living concepts that uses design, technology, service and brand to build co-living spaces at scale for the rental residential market. The company has established an interesting business model with a twist in the residential rental segment.

Founders: Varun Bhalla, Viral Chhajer

Disruptive Model: StayAbode uses design, technology, service and brand to build co-living spaces for the rental residential market, at scale.

The company is the only vertically integrated co-living space provider whose properties are fully managed so that residents experience the comfort of a boutique hotel without having to worry about the mundane household chores such as laundry, vessels, etc. The price is that of a regular sub-standard accommodation in the city.

The residences are designed to make the residents feel like a part of the community from the very first day, with activities planned to bring them together and interact in a friendly atmosphere.

StayAbode follows a full-stack model, not a part-inventory one. It leases out complete buildings – from the basement to the terrace – and turns them into co-living spaces. After that, their team puts together the furniture and common-room setups, ensuring the space has everything that a tenant needs, including add-ons like music rooms, art rooms, study areas, even barbeque grills in some properties. The company can have 260 occupants at any point of time.

To ensure that the atmosphere at the abodes is pleasant and co-residents are able to get along, 60-65 per cent of the residents are signed on through references after the initial few have occupied. Allocating rooms appropriately is important and so the applicants have to fill a form that tries to capture their interests. Based on this, cohorts are allocated with like-minded people to avoid friction with roommates.

Currently aimed at millennials, soon communities for other profiles – older people, couples etc. – are also being planned.While the company will be going beyond Bangalore soon, it is also planning to be a global player in five years, especially in Southeast Asia. And so, it is also investing in technology to enable it to be ready to deal with the different markets.

Stayabode’s model is expected to create a third type of building apart from residential and commercial – those meant for community living as envisaged by Stayabode.

Key Investors in StayAbode

Incubate Fund, MridulUpreti (Ex-MD JLL India), Sanjay Shenoy (Joint MD Legacy Global Constructions), Ishan Manaktala (CEO- Venture Vida), Gaurav Bhalotia(Ex-VP Eng. Flipkart), GitanjaliMahtaney (CEO, K Mohan and Exports), Nihit Agarwal (CEO, Subhalakshmi Polymers), Aditya Berlia (Apeejay Group), VIshalLulla (CEO-Vishal Exports)

Meera Srikant has been working with publishers and publications since 1993, writing and editing articles, features and stories across topics. She also blogs and writes poems, novels and short stories during leisure. Writing for The Smart CEO since 2010, she is also a classical dancer.

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