The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed down the growth of coworking spaces, but things are bound to get back on track as things open up.
India is the second largest market for flexible workspaces in APAC, second only to China. A June 2020 report by ORF estimated the potential coworking market size to be Rs 15.5 million, comprising 1.54 million freelancers, 0.1 million startups, 1.54 million SMEs, and 10.3 million enterprises.
While there are several notable players in the market offering affordable and comfortable coworking spaces across the country. Kochi-based Incoff Workspace Solutions has a unique way of disrupting the segment.
Founded in 2019 by college friends Kishore G Nair and Indrajith NS, Incoff offers a flexible workspace access platform that connects coworking spaces and clients.
Apart from this, it also offers a multi-city workspace package combining virtual office and day pass services. This enables businesses or teams to set up an office anywhere in the city for a day or a required period of time for meetings or presentations.
Speaking to YourStory, Kishore says, “We are aiming to bridge the gap that exists even today in finding the perfect space to work from, especially in Tier 2 cities.”
According to the co-founder, the startup aims to tap underutilised areas in offices and set them up as coworking units. The idea came to him when he noticed that while several companies had underutilised spaces in their offices, many freelances or small-sized startups were looking for affordable workstations.
“Apart from this, in 2018, during my work-related travels, I found it hard to find an ideal space to sit down and work, and ended up spending the day in cafes,” Kishore says.
Realising the problem, the duo launched Incoff to use underutilised office spaces as functioning coworking spaces.
“Even though Kochi is the IT hub of Kerala with around 50,000 employees, it hardly has four coworking spaces with less than 200 seats at that time. There are a lot of startups and SMEs even today especially in Tier 2 cities that resort to traditional office spaces, which are expensive and lack flexibility and scalability,” he explains.
Incoff also provides multi-city workspace packages that allow the client businesses to set up virtual offices anywhere in the city to be used by remote team members or during work-related travels.
“We provide our services through collaborations with coworking spaces across cities. We have such tie-ups in 15 cities across India,” Kishore explains.
Incoff targets freelancers, startups, and small companies looking for cost-effective workspaces. Amidst the COVID-19 recovery, the company is now also targeting professions that are having trouble working remotely from home. This allows working professionals to rent a proper desk or meeting room for a few hours/days.
Incoff is present in 15 cities, including Kochi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Raipur among others.
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The startup enters into a partnership agreement with coworking operators and helps clients get flexible access to office space through daily, weekly and monthly plans across cities.
“Our services start from Rs 300 per day and are customisable, according to the office space requirements,” Kishore says. The startup claims to have around 35 clients as of now and 70 leads in the pipeline.
Kishore revealed that Incoff was launched with an initial investment of Rs 2 lakh and is now in talks with investors for raising seed investment.
The company is currently working on a pay-per-use day pass booking mobile application (Android and iOS) which is expected to be rolled out by April this year. It is also looking at expanding its business with 500 workspaces in 25 locations across India by May, with a target of clocking Rs 20 crore in revenue within 18 months.
Incoff competes with other workplace finders such as Sneed, Cowrks, Qdesq, and Gofloaters, but believes it is well poised to tap the market.
Speaking about future plans, Kishore says, “We are also in the final stages of conversations with a workspace provider in Dubai to provide our services there in the forthcoming months. Likewise, we expect to expand to five other countries and become a remote flexible workspace provider offering service across the globe.”