Singapore-based student housing provider OxfordCaps has raised USD8 million (SGD10.83 million) in Series A funding as the startup plans to expand in various cities of India.
The funding was led by Times Internet and existing investors Kalaari Capital and Silicon Valley-based early-stage fund 500 Startups.
OxfordCaps provides standardised housing facilities to students and young millennials in Singapore and India. The start-up was founded in 2017 by Annu Talreja, an INSEAD alumnus and Priyanka Gera, an IIM Calcutta alumnus.
The funding will help in growth operations across education hubs including Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Pune, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad.
In India, the start-up follows a full-stack model, leases out existing hostel buildings or other buildings that are suitable for student accommodation, renovates them to suit a standardised pattern, and rents out these properties as single, twin-sharing, and triple-sharing rooms, as well as dormitories.
It also provides fully-furnished accommodation with WiFi, high-end security systems, food and maintenance.
“Student accommodation in India is a challenge. Currently, most follow a PG format or are available on campus. The challenge here is the lack of quality and poor standard of maintenance and service. We aim to change that,” said Annu Talreja, OxfordCaps Founder and CEO.
“Our primary focus is to expand across India and in Singapore,” she added.
The company claims that it has clocked 30x growth in less than 10 months in India, growing from 200 beds to 6,000.
“Annu and Priyanka have built a great team in a short time, and their execution has been impressive. Education and Student Lifecycle are the key segments for us as an investor. We believe that there is a tremendous demand in this segment, coupled with founders’ relentless hustle, it has the potential to transform the industry,” said Abhishek Gupta, Vice President, Times Internet Ltd.
In India, OxfordCaps charges based on accommodation and area. For budget accommodation, it charges anywhere between INR8,000 (SGD157.22) and INR10,000 (SGD196.52) per bed per month, depending on the area, and can go up to INR10,000 to INR25,000 (SGD491.3).
The team of OxfordCaps follows a management-led model in Singapore where they have tied up with a few leading universities to manage their hostels. The team charges 7-12 percent of the fee charged to the student by these hostels, as its management fee.
Pointedly, the market for student accommodation seems to be growing in India, where it is believed to be worth USD15 billion (SGD20.3 billion)
“More than 10.4 million students across India migrate to cities every year to pursue their academic dreams. However, student housing today suffers from a high level of fragmentation, lack of quality solutions, price transparency, reliability and complete lack of tech enablement of processes,” said Vani Kola, managing director at Kalaari Capital.
“OxfordCaps is addressing this gap. We are pleased to back Annu and Priyanka and are confident in their strategy and execution to establish student housing as an asset class in India,” she added.