Lemon Tree Hotels has formed a joint venture (JV) with an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, to create a co-living platform. The JV marks Lemon Tree Hotel’s entry into a new business segment focusing on the development of institutional-grade rental housing accommodation serving both students and young working professionals across major educational clusters and key office markets in India. Following Warburg Pincus’ successful partnerships in China and Hong Kong, this investment represents the first co-living platform which the firm has backed in India. An affiliate of Warburg Pincus and Lemon Tree Hotels will hold 68 per cent and 30 per cent stake, respectively in the JV, with the balance 2 per cent to be held by Patanjali Keswani.
The JV partners will initially invest Rs 1,500 crore in equity over a period of time followed by an additional infusion of Rs 1,500 crore in equity at the option of the partners, to develop rental housing projects through a combination of greenfield purpose-built properties, refurbishment of existing under-managed/stressed commercial and residential assets taken on lease/acquisition basis as well as management of existing for-rent accommodation projects. The platform aims to provide affordable and conveniently located co-living spaces for students and young professionals, who are increasingly looking to be part of a vibrant community with like-minded individuals.
Patanjali (Patu) Keswani, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, said, “We are delighted to once again partner with Warburg Pincus at an early stage of this exciting new business opportunity, which will allow Lemon Tree Hotels to move into a segment which is nascent but closely aligned to our existing target customers and which is expected to see tremendous growth, going forward. Driven by the lack of quality accommodation and high rental/capital costs across key Indian cities relative to salary levels, the rise of co-living spaces is a part of the evolution of the sharing economy that will continue to gain significant traction.”
Anish Saraf, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus said, “India has a large addressable rental population across students and young professionals which is expected to grow significantly as a result of rapid urbanisation, increasingly unaffordable housing prices/rentals and shortage of on-campus housing infrastructure. Moreover, this millennial population desires modern housing facilities with a sense of community living, which is missing in existing accommodation offerings.”