Thinkwide to tap student housing segment

Thinkwide CEO Hari Krishna (second from right) with co-founder Sreedhar Reddy (second from left) and Sillymonks CMD Sanjay Reddy in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based hostels and PG accommodation finding startup, Thinkwide, which currently lists 40 per cent of the hostel and PG properties in Hyderabad, is aiming to enter into Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune. The company’s app PGO allows students, young professionals and individuals to search and book accommodation. The platform also allows owners to list their property.

The company has listed over 2,000 properties in Hyderabad and wants to onboard 15,000 properties across India by next year. By 2020, the company wants to be present in all the major cities.

Thinkwide founder & CEO Hari Krishna started the company in 2015 to enable online booking and payments. With the increasing number of students enrolling for higher education each year, the company sees demand for student housing to increase at a faster rate. For corporates, PGO will act as a virtual buddy to support finding accommodation for their human resources predominantly young professionals.

He told Telangana Today, “We found this space is largely untapped. We wanted to empower youth with choice of accommodation. Property owners will be using the platform by paying an annual subscription a Rs 6,000.”

National expansion

On expansion front, he informed, “We are keen to foray into Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh by 2019. We will be hiring agencies in every city that we will enter. We will also be entering into serviced apartments by next year. We may selectively look at budget hotels segment.”

By the year 2020, Thinkwide aims to introduce PGO services to 15 additional cities in India taking the total to 25,000 properties on its mobile and web platform.

The company has divested its 35 per cent equity to Sillymonks Entertainment and angel investors such as Sai Korrapati and SS Karthikeya to raise Rs 1 crore.

He added, “For our pan-India expansion, we would need additional Rs 20 crore. We will talk to venture capital companies and existing investors to meet our expansion need upto next year.”

Sanjay Reddy, CMD of Sillymonks who has come on board of Thinkwide as a strategic investor said, “We found the business truly promising, I see PGO personally as a parent’s app that helps to choose the best possible stay for children in the city they choose to stay, work or study.”

Market need

Finding hostel or PG accommodation with best amenities can be a major concern when you move to a new city, and often entail endless struggle with real estate agents and brokers. What PGO is trying to solve is the void in the services and amenities that often fall far short and unknown till you check-in and face it.

PGO algorithm allows hostel and PG hunters to approach PGO verified property owners or PGO customer care directly and take the deal forward without having to deal with middlemen.

The technology designed around PGO removes the pain out of finding a hostel or PG for searchers. It helps to choose and book hostels as well as PGs widely registered and exhibited in PGO digital platforms. User of the platform is armed with factual data such as guest reviews, stay tariffs and PGO verification, of the showcased properties and zero in the best suitable and pocket friendly stay option.

Available on Google Play store and Apple Store, PGO showcases eight different categories of accommodation with sharing opportunity and varieties of amenities. Using the app, guests can book online, speak to host, opt for pay at property and they can choose daily or monthly, hostel or hotel, PG or lodge and several other stay options.