Contact Us

Co-Living Startup Starcity Buys Competitor In Bicoastal Play

Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky

Some co-living companies have been weathering the storm of the coronavirus pandemic and at least one is going on the offensive.

San Francisco-based Starcity announced on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Ollie, a New York-based competitor, Crunchbase reports. The sides did not disclose a purchase price, but they noted that it will be an all-stock transaction.

With Ollie's main stomping grounds on the other side of the country from most of Starcity's properties, Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky was able to gain entry to several new markets in one fell swoop, he told Crunchbase. Ollie properties will be rebranded, but the company said most of its staff and its property management software will be integrated into Starcity.

By acquiring Ollie's interest in 12 completed or under-construction properties, Starcity has cracked 1,500 rental units in its global portfolio, with 3,000 more under construction or in the pre-construction phase, Crunchbase reports.

Like coworking, co-living's emphasis on common areas and lower costs in exchange for less private space was impacted directly by sweeping stay-at-home advisories or orders, and perhaps just as much by individuals' fear of mingling with someone outside their circle of trust. But Starcity was able to close on a $30M Series B fundraising round in April, Crunchbase reports, and as recently as late October reported over 90% occupancy at its San Francisco properties.

Though Ollie has not been as active in deal-making this year as Starcity, it managed to launch and lease up much of its largest purpose-built co-living property in the U.S. in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Dishotsky told Crunchbase that he had met Ollie co-founder Chris Bledsoe at a panel discussion several years ago and the two became fans of each other's businesses.