Are investors coming back to coliving in 2021?

Congratulations to Cohabs on their recently announced EUR 58M round (Brussel-based network of coliving spaces Cohabs has raised €58 million in a Series B round)! Is it me, or does it feel like investors are interested again in coliving (after a bit of COVID-break)?  

Since the end of last year until recently, we have seen some increased activity in coliving, especially in terms of acquisitions and consolidations among players.

For example, at the end of September 2020, Common raised $50M (followed by the more recent announcements about a consolidation in the U.S. market, adding more spaces to its 5,000 unit portfolio: “Over the past year, Common has taken over 2,000 units from other properties, and has plans to take over another 1,500 units in the next year. The units from the past year consisted of 1,668 traditional apartments and 473 coliving bedrooms.”). 

Recent Fundraising News in Coliving

So far, 2021 seems like a good year for investors in coliving projects. Here are some highlights globally of notable activity:

  • In Hong Kong, Dash just raised $8.8M (to “launch its serviced rental solutions in Japan and Australia […] to expand in Southeast Asia beyond Singapore, focusing on countries and markets with a high density of hyper-mobile millennials and where accommodation is expensive.” 
  • In India, Stanza Living just raised $100M (“The company is estimated to be valued at around US$470 million to US$500 million post-money”)
  • In Europe (before Cohabs), DoveVivo raised €30M in March (“one of the most dynamic and innovative “prop-tech companies” on the Italian and European market”).

Additionally, consolidation and the establishment of larger operators are likely to attract more institutional funding. Here is a snapshot of some acquisitions in coliving:

  1. Coliving startup Habyt acquires global coliving provider Quarters (earlier this year)
  2. Starcity Acquires Ollie, Accelerating Its Growth as a Vertically Integrated Global Coliving Company (end of last year)

Coliving in 2021

Why are investors coming back to coliving now? I believe it is because the fundamentals of coliving are attractive in a post-COVID world. And I am not the only one to believe this: “Co-living is poised to make a comeback, and if you market your property accordingly, you can really capitalize on it”:

  1. “People who have been cooped up by themselves in lockdowns may be eager to live with roommates — even if those roommates start out as strangers — once the idea of doing so becomes safe.
  2. The demand for city rentals could soar once the pandemic ends and companies could start calling workers back to the office”

We are not even mid-way through 2021. Let’s see how the rest of 2021 shapes up!