Paris House in Greater Noida’s Knowledge Park-3, is not your run-of-the-mill student hostel. There are the usual—shared rooms and long corridors with a steady flow of pyjama-clad students. But the building—whose interiors are an explosion of turquoise, red and yellow—also has biometric access, well-furnished common rooms, and a functional gym. And all student-facing functions happen via an app.

With over 400 beds, Paris House is student housing startup Stanza Living’s largest property in the Delhi NCR region. It caters to several colleges in the area, with students from the likes of GL Bajaj institute of technology and management, Galgotias University and Sharda University filling its beds. One of the managers says the property is at 100% occupancy, with more demand than they can absorb. In response to this, Stanza—arguably India’s largest student housing company, with over 22,000 beds—is developing another hostel adjacent to Paris House.

While Stanza may be the largest, it is by no means the only company trying to address the unserved demand for student housing. Others, such as Singapore-based OxfordCaps and Bengaluru-headquartered Campusville, are also looking to conquer the student housing market. Priyanka Gera, who co-founded OxfordCaps along with CEO Annu Talreja, has pegged the market opportunity for student housing in India at around $20 billion.

The potential is unmissable. According to a 2017 report on the Indian student housing market by real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), 34 million students are pursuing higher education in India. Of these, approximately 10.4 million students migrate within the country for want of better education, forming a lucrative but underserved market for the likes of Stanza.

On average, student housing companies tend to charge between 1.3 lakh ($1,900) to 1.6 lakh ($2,300) a year on average, markedly more than the Rs 50,000-80,000 charged by hostels in government colleges, but generally on par with residence fees at private institutions.

While these prices may deter students seeking cheaper options, it still leaves a comfortably large pool of students in search of a more premium experience. Price-sensitivity is something Matrix Partners, one of Stanza’s investors, researched before backing the company. Tarun Davda, partner and managing director at Matrix, says the fund conducted a survey with parents which revealed that 30-40% of parents were willing to spend more for quality accommodation and associated services.

With higher-than-average rentals and fixed capital expenditure (capex) costs, entrepreneurs are looking to cash in and investors like Matrix are backing them to the hilt. Having seen overseas markets generate excellent returns, investors are now queuing up to bankroll a similar success story domestically.

Stanza has raised $16.7 million, including venture debt, from investors like Sequoia, Accel Partners and Matrix Partners. OxfordCaps, meanwhile, says it has raised $10.5 million from Times Internet* and Kalaari Capital. Stanza Living and OxfordCaps are each looking to raise $50 million over the coming few months.

AUTHOR

Vandana

Vandana is based in Delhi. She covers vertically focussed startups in consumer internet space and also writes on travel tech and smartphones for The Ken. She has spent 13 years in journalism covering a wide range of subjects- equity markets, mutual funds to education and skilling, working at organisations such as Business Standard, CNBC TV18 and The Week in the past.

View Full Profile

Available exclusively to subscribers of The Ken India

This story is a part of The Ken India edition. Subscribe. Questions?

MOST POPULAR

Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750

Subscribe
 

Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 60+ new stories with 3-months worth of archives from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 1,750

Subscribe
 

Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500

Subscribe
MOST POPULAR

Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120

Subscribe
 

Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 35+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 50

Subscribe
 

Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20

Subscribe

Questions?

What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at [email protected] detailing the error or queries.