JLL venture capital arm makes India debut with workspace aggregator Qdesq

JLL venture capital arm makes India debut with workspace aggregator Qdesq
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
11 Sep, 2019

San Francisco headquartered JLL Spark, the venture capital arm of real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), has made its first India-focused investment. 

Gurugram-based Qdesq Realtech, an online aggregator of workspaces, has raised an undisclosed sum in a funding round from the prop-tech focused investor.

Qdesq Realtech plans to invest the capital to bolster its platform’s data analytics capabilities and help asset-owners create viable co-working spaces within commercial complexes, a JLL statement said.

Qdesq enables workspace owners to list their properties on the platform. Customers can use the platform to rent facilities such as flexible workspaces, virtual offices, individual offices and training rooms. It also serves as a distribution channel for co-working space rental platforms such as WeWork, 91Springboard, Awfis, Regus, Smartworks and Innov8.

“The average time it takes to close a fixed time lease today is anywhere between three and six months. In comparison, Qdesq is able to close even large enterprise occupancy requirements within days. Our transaction volumes have been growing over 400 percent year-on-year and, with our shared vision with JLL, the opportunity is to scale the platform across Asia,” said Paras Arora, co-founder of Qdesq. 

The company recently launched in the Philippines and plans to expand its presence in other Asian cities in the near future.

Founded in 2015 by Paras Arora, former executive at real estate company Colliers International, and former Royal Bank of Scotland executive Lavesh Bhandari, the startup claims to have India’s largest inventory of flexible workspaces. It currently has 2,200 centres listed on its platform spanning over 35 cities in India. Bank of Baroda, automobile manufacturer Hyundai, restaurant discovery platform Zomato Media and digital payments platform PhonePe are among some of the platform’s corporate clients.

Mumbai-based accountancy firm NA Shah Associates and law consultancy firm Fortitude Law served as advisors for JLL Spark’s investment in the startup.

Qdesq raised an undisclosed sum in July 2016 from a clutch of angel  investors including Anuraag Jaipuria, director at food production company Jai Drinks, Ruchirans Jaipuria, promoter at Jaipuria Beverage and Food and Rishi Kajaria, joint managing director at Kajaria Ceramics.

Earlier that year, the startup raised an undisclosed sum in a seed round from another group of angel investors led by Dheeraj Jain, managing partner at Redcliffe Capital. Former DuPont executive Jagdish Kumar also participated in the round, among other angels. 

American real estate services company JLL has been steadily expanding its presence in India over the past few months. In October 2018, it opened its first technology research facility in the world, at Bengaluru.