Gourab Paul always went on solving big problems at the age of 27. Hence, he chose to work with several early stage startups between 2012 and 2016, that involves adtech startup AdPushup, and self-drive car-rental startup Peersome. He further ended up at tech-focused venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. Homing in Siliguri, Gourab dropped out of college earlier in 2012. He marks, “I was a misfit in the college education system, hailing from a small isolated town in West Bengal and with almost no exposure to the real world.
I had no knowledge on the possible career paths. And, later, I realised that the rat race made absolutely no sense to me.” While working with Kalaari Capital, Gourab was dazzled by the insights of commercial real estate space and further established unique unmanageable problems. During the study of different sectors and having a sharp eye on trends, be it vernacular internet to AI, ML, Blockchain, and IoT, he noticed that the commercial real estate space, especially the office space segment, is greatly ignored by neoteric trending startups in India.
Startups like Nestaway, Ziffyhomes, CoLive, and others were looking after sophisticated solutions to renters, but the office rental spaces puzzle yet, was looking forward to have a solution. Lately, in June 2018, he made an attempt to start The Hacker Street, that pegs itself as a tech-driven supply aggregation and unified provider of office spaces, be it co-working or managed. While being an outsider in the ‘commercial real estate industry,’ it wasn’t easy for Gourab to achieve the task. Convincing real estate folks was a complicated task, admits Gourab, who was often asked about the total experience he had in the real estate space. The Hacker Street currently functions with more than 500 office space operators in India that includes major co-working brands. However, the startup does not share specific names.
Recently, performing the match-making by manual backend operations, the founder states that the automation tech for a match-making engine is being developed as an in-house device and that they plan to announce it with a new web app in coming couple of months. Where most rental advisory firms and co-working spaces estimates their agenda at clients wishing to house thousands of employees, The Hacker Street concentrates towards customers looking to house anywhere from one to 100 seats. Customers can go towards any platform and browse hundreds of curated office spaces from partner operators. For the startup’s ‘managed space offering,’ the consumer can submit a requirement, and post-verification, the platform sends links of private database of verified properties. Users can also have scheduled visits to the listed properties.
These ‘managed office offerings’ involve properties that are taken care of by either a landlord or an individual entity. Furthermore, the startup also specifies to initiate an optimised price which is significantly lower than what the space operator quotes. Allowing the partnerships among the startups, it has more than 30,000 seats of office space accessible across seven cities, that involve Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, and Pune.
Summing forward, The Hacker Street partner’s 10-14 percent of the commissions with co-working and office rental producers after a deal’s door is folded. According to Gourab, the bootstrapped startup is cash-flow positive. Presently numbering a team of eight members, the startup mentions to have close to 25,000 users calling the platform every month. The numbers are growing at 30 percent every upcoming month, as stated by the company. The Hacker Street outrages with online office space aggregator Qdesq, that was founded back in 2015. Based in Gurugram, Qdesq offers rental services in 32 Indian cities and, such as The Hacker Street, it has partnered with the top co-working spaces in India.