Common, Habyt Merge To Form Global Co-Living Operator
Two of the world’s largest co-living operators have joined forces to create an international network of housing options ranging from co-living and studios to traditional apartments.
Habyt, which operates thousands of units in Europe and Asia, and Common, North America’s most prolific co-living company, announced a merger that will deliver more than 30,000 units across 40 cities, according to a news release.
The merger is expected to double the firms’ respective businesses in 2023, per the release. The combined entity is expected to turn profitable this year.
“The merger makes perfect sense for both companies—Habyt had no North American presence, and Common had none in Europe,” Luca Bovone, founder and CEO of Habyt, said in a statement. “Our new combined resources present a fully digital, easy solution to access rental properties across the world, something that has been historically derailed by endless paperwork or bureaucracy.”
Common’s growth has skyrocketed over the past few years, with units in its portfolio increasing from less than 2,000 to 7,000 between 2020 and 2022. Another 18,000 units were in the pipeline when Karlene Hollomon, the company’s former executive vice president of property management, took over as CEO in August.
Common’s business model, which opts for management agreements over the more traditional master lease structure, allowed it to flourish during the pandemic even as several of its competitors filed for bankruptcy and were forced to shut down.
Along the way, Common acquired similar businesses, including Skylight in 2016 and Starcity in 2021.
“At Common, our mission is to create positive and resourceful changes in the housing industry, when housing is such a challenge for so many,” Hollomon, who will now also serve as CEO North America of the Habyt Group, said in a statement. “With this merger, we now have a global platform to redefine the living experience all over the world.”
The stock market has not been kind to tech companies of late, which is why founder Brad Hargreaves, the company's former CEO and current chairman, chose not to go public in early 2021. Instead, he said proptech companies should return to investors for additional capital to extend their runways without the risk of deflating values.
That strategy proved successful for Common, which raised $23M from existing investors at the end of Q1 2022. The company now has more than $110M in venture capital investment, per the release.
Common is active in 10 major U.S. markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco, according to its website.
Habyt, founded in 2017 in Berlin, is operational in 18 European cities. Last spring, the company merged with Hmlet, the biggest co-living operator in Asia Pacific, which brought its total units under management to 8,000 worldwide.