“Ideas shape the course of history,” said the renowned economist John Maynard Keynes. Start-ups are steadily building on Keynes’ idea to make their mark in India’s economic space. But, things may not be as rosy as they may sound owing to technical difficulties and mounting real estate prices. The enterprising trio Amit Kumar, Manju Bala and Vineet Goyal are looking to tap this problem with their start-up SeatingHub.
SeatingHub began in December 2015 as an online portal for start-ups who require a small yet sufficient workspace. The fully furnished office space offered on the website includes furniture, air conditioners, an internet connection and other amenities such as water purifiers and tea/coffee machines. It’s a unique concept of listing shared workplaces, where existing offices across Noida, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Chennai and Bengaluru can let out their unused workspace. “Most offices today have 20-30% of the space vacant. What we are trying to do is utilise this unused, well-furnished space and and rent it out to start-ups that need not set up a new office from scratch,” says Vineet Goyal, co-founder and CEO, SeatingHub.
Once a company is interested in listing its space with SeatingHub, it can simply fill up an online form and post a photograph of the area. “The team then personally visits the place to check the authenticity of the amenities mentioned. The booking charge for a listed space ranges from ₹5000-₹25,000 per month depending upon the real estate prices in the area,” explains Goyal. SeatingHub entered the market with an initial investment of ₹8 lakh and has managed to get more than 100 office spaces on board.
Interested start-ups can register themselves with SeatingHub and choose from among the listed office spaces. While a company can enlist its property for free on the portal, it is required to pay a 10% commission to the co-working space portal; 8% of which is SeatingHub’s commission while 2% is the payment getaway charge. It has completed 10 transactions till date.
Since renting offices online is still not a well-known concept in India, co-founder and CTO, Amit Kumar is keen on making the start-up more prominent by introducing the concept of 'Cash at Venue', where companies can pay SeatingHub only after the deal is sealed. “This is a risky proposition, but we are ready to bear the brunt. We wish to expand our team to attract more companies and also to make our presence felt in all the metropolitan cities by this year,” he says.