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 78 days ago
 Startup Around Originals

DevX, Gujarat's largest co-working space raised $1 Million funding in Seed round

DevX, a co-working player headquartered in Ahmedabad aims to co-create an inclusive startup ecosystem across India in Tier II cities. In addition to its co-working spaces offering world-class facilities, it also runs a Startup Accelerator to scout innovative startups. With an aim to create a community-driven, startup co-working space that can help them create a pipeline to connect startup, investors and allied pillars of the entrepreneurial ecosystem Parth Shah, Rushit Shah and Umesh Uttamchandani are rapidly expanding their footprints into numerous tier II cities across India.

“Tier II cities still lack a platform where investors and innovators can come together and work for mutual benefit. To have a thriving startup ecosystem in Gujarat, established entrepreneurs and business owners need to give back, by mentoring and supporting upcoming startups,” Umesh says. Further adding to this, he says, “a strong push needs to come from established entrepreneurs, to develop a concrete, collaborative ecosystem in the state”.

According to the trio, the missing link in Gujarat was a coworking space that also offered additional value with services like a Startup Accelerator. That led to the founding of DevX in 2017.

Today DevX is spread across five cities: Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai, Indore, and Morjim (Goa). DevX operates eight centres, 4,000+ seats, and has clients such as DCB Bank, Thomson Reuters, Sharechat, Sugarbox, Mobile Tornado, Afford Plan, QX Global, American Express, and many more.

Parth, an MBA, and Rushit, a BTech graduate, were childhood buddies whereas Umesh, also an MBA graduate and Parth, worked as consultants before starting up on their own. The trio was joined by Jaimin Shah, Former Chairman for Domestic Council, NASSCOM. He plays the role of an active mentor and his strong network helps connect with the right people in the industry, according to the founders. The three of them decided to start a new venture with Dev Information Technology, a two-decade public listed IT organisation, but soon realised that Gujarat lagged when it came to the startup ecosystem.

“From that experience, we realised many facilities were missing for entrepreneurs, especially in Tier II towns. These included support in business registration, mentoring in product development, and fund-raising for scaling up were lacking,” explains Umesh. Currently, DevX is a team of 48 people.

DevX not only offer startups a cost-effective solution, but a place to collaborate and co-create. “We strive to provide an environment where entrepreneurs are surrounded by like-minded people. Our office-cum-learning culture enables a person to form networks, and gain access to startups, mentors, and investors,” he adds. The well-designed office spaces offer spacious and open workstations, well-crafted furniture, private cabins, meeting and conference rooms, lounges, and breakout zones. Amenities include high speed internet, phone booths, and 24/7 accessibility to support. The space also includes a gaming zone, event room for 80-90 people, 50-seater auditorium, gymnasium, baby care room, meditation and yoga room, and happiness zone.

Portfolio startups are allocated space without any infrastructure cost. They can also benefit from investment. “We are able to attract and retain startups because we have an extended investment arm, which focuses on growth of early-stage startups. We have a ticket size of Rs 30 to 50 lakh against 6 to 8 percent equity participation. Apart from funding, we provide dedicated mentorship support, provide access to our network/community, and support in global expansion,” Umesh says. For the investment arm, the team has created an entity named Las Olas Ventures LLP, under which it has raised a small corpus of Rs 2 crore. One of the partners in this is DevX, which contributes 15 percent of the overall fund. So far, it has invested in two startups: Quixote Automotive Technologies and Big Spoon Foods (Makhni Bros.) Keen to help businesses keep the focus on growth, DevX has also partnered with multiple service providers, from legal to HR.

What makes DevX unique is the fact that the trio did not just start out to “sell tables and chairs”. “There is enough demand, and we want to increase the market size by creating awareness about coworking spaces and ensuring that every operator has a profitable run. Our holistic approach differentiates us,” says Umesh.