Relocating to a new city comes with its own share of challenges, ranging from adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings to feeling isolated. It’s often challenging for India’s young population to find a fully-furnished and affordable accommodation that provides basic amenities. To address these issues, one such startup, Colive has emerged as an affordable and hassle-free solution, addressing all the challenges modern urban dwellers face.
Founded in 2016, Bangalore-based startup, Colive is a technology-powered network of fully managed ready-to-move-in homes, conveniently located in proximity to major IT parks and business hubs. It offers fully managed branded living spaces equipped with modern tech-enabled security, service and maintenance features.
Analytics India Magazine caught up with Suresh Rangarajan, founder and CEO of Colive to gain insights on how the company is utilising the emerging technologies. Colive started with only 300 beds in Bangalore, and currently, they have an inventory of more than 15,000 beds. In the initial stage, the company faced a hard time convincing stakeholders (property builders and investors) about the significance of co-living. The startup primarily caters to millennials (21-35-year-olds) – mid-level working professional, digital Nomads. It has secured funding from Ncubate Capital Partners in 2018 and Salarpuria Sattva Group earlier this year.
Colive Provides A Full-stack Solution
According to Rangarajan, the startup operates on a full-stack model. The properties of Colive come equipped with basic amenities such as professional laundry and housekeeping service, on-demand maintenance support, tech-enabled security, and daily meals, apart from additional facilities like high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, fitness and games room, entertainment lounge, etc. Rangarajan said, “When it comes to security, we have deployed centralised security monitoring (IoT-based video surveillance), facial recognition-based access system and digital locks for controlled access.” He added, “We can say that technology dons the role of ‘Ramu Kaka.”
At its core, the startup leverages SQL, AWS as software server, .NET and Angular as frontend, ASP.NET as backend, C-Sharp and Core Java. Programming Languages like ASP.NET and C-Sharp is used for the customer on-boarding process. The AI-based bot called SHONA takes care of the whole customer journey that includes sales, check-in, rent payments, FAQs and Service requests. The app developers mainly uses Java and XML for designing, while for iOS developers use Swift.
Role of AI/ML
AI-enabled bot, SHONA helps in complete customer lifecycle such as searching for a property, service request, rent payment, etc. This bot also helps to invite co-livers to an event, to retain customers, to do remarketing, to do lead nurturing, etc.
The potential competitors include student housing sector and other rentals, like Nestaway, Zolo.
Currently, Colive has over 200 employees, of which 25+ people work in the product development and technology team. The startup usually handpicks all employees. In an interview, the hiring process usually ends with a discussion on how the candidate will create a significant impact on society, transforming the way people live, etc.
Rangarajan stated that given the problems like increasing space crunch and traffic woes in urban centres, more people will turn to co-living spaces on the back of convenience. He further added, “We plan to scale our operations from 15,000 beds to 1 lakh beds in the next couple of years. To realize this, we are looking at 25,000+ beds in Colive’s inventory by the end of 2019.”