Strata, India's leading tech-enabled commercial real estate (CRE) investment platform, has raised $6 million in a Series A round co-led by Kotak Investment Advisors Limited , Gruhas Proptech (an exclusive fund by Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha and Abhijeet Pai of Puzzolana Group for proptech investments and special situations), Sabre Investments (an investment arm of Rahul Talwar, Promoter Family of DLF). This round also saw participation from Elevation Capital, Mayfield India and Gemba Capital.
Previously, in March, 2020, the company had raised $1.5 million in seed funding co-led by Elevation Capital and Mayfield India along with participation from PropStack angel investors.
The company will use this capital to expand aggressively in the next year, taking its current Asset under Management (AUM) of approx. Rs. 330 crore to Rs. 1500 crore by FY21-22. The company is eyeing to spread its geographical footprint across key markets of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai Bengaluru, Delhi and, Pune. The company also plans to accelerate product development and introduce new investment offerings to yield greater returns for its investors in the long term.
Besides, the company is also aiming to double its headcount in the current fiscal year. It is eyeing fresh recruits for the role of tech and product managers, investment managers and asset managers who will aid its growth plans of building a strong asset portfolio across the country.
Incorporated in May 2019, and founded by Sudarshan Lodha and Priyanka Rathore, Strata envisions to be the largest alternative investment platform in the country for retail investors by enabling them to invest in CRE assets-by fractionalizing assets and offering it on an easy-to-use online platform. With its data-driven asset selection and single-window platform, it brings transparency and ease of liquidity to CRE investments.
Commenting on the funding, Sudarshan Lodha, CEO, Strata said, "Our aim is to democratize CRE as an asset class like never before in India. This fresh round of financing comes at a critical point in our business, enabling us to accelerate our expansion plans and build and innovate our product portfolio, as we gear up for our next phase of growth. We are delighted to bring on-board immensely diverse investors-a veteran like Kotak Investment Advisors and a dynamic new-age fund like Gruhas Proptech, representing the perfect blend of consummate experience and operational agility."
Srini Sriniwasan, MD, Kotak Investment Advisors Limited said, "Strata, in a very short span of time, has built a powerful asset class that is easily accessible to the masses. Investment in CRE has predominantly remained off-limits for most sections of the investor community in India. However, Strata has managed to close the gap by giving investors accessibility, transparency and affordability to invest in CRE through its offerings. We are delighted to partner with Sudarshan and Strata in their next phase of growth."
Abhijeet Pai, Gruhas Proptech, also said, "By offering CRE investment on a platter, and empowering masses to access it as a promising asset class, Strata has built a niche for itself in regard to alternative wealth creation. We are extremely kicked about this unique proposition and believe there is immense room for disruption and growth. The combination of technology and strong product capabilities offered by the team will help usher in a 'new age' in real-estate investing in India. We are super excited to back team Strata in helping build India's largest alternative asset investment platform."
Currently, Strata's platform has over 15,000 users platform along with an active base of more than 1,000 investors globally. While 20% of the investor base comprise NRIs, others include HNIs, family offices, top management from Fortune 500 companies as well as UHNIs and institutional investors.
Strata has seen remarkable growth since its inception, building an asset under management (AUM) worth ?330 crore, including managed portfolio, across asset classes ranging from office spaces to warehouses and industrial facilities. Their aim is to increase the AUM by nearly 4X to reach to ?1,500 crore, and become operationally profitable by FY2021-22.
Vaas Bhaskar, VP, Elevation Capital, said, "There exists a large opportunity to provide access and a better experience for investments in alternative asset classes in India. We have deep conviction that Strata's tech and data-driven approach is scalable, performance-oriented, and provides a phenomenal investor experience. We partnered with Strata from Day 1 and are excited to deepen our relationship and look forward to achieving many more milestones together."
Subeer Monga, Principal, Mayfield India, commented, "Strata has emerged as a market leader in the CRE investment space which is changing how people invest in commercial real estate. We are proud to continue to back Sudarshan and the Strata team as they continue to fortify our belief in applying fintech mindsets to disrupt and transform traditional financial services value chains."