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NYC-based Co-Living Startup Common Snags $16M Series B For Expansion To SF, DC

New York
A Common co-living bedroom, with Common CEO Brad Hargreaves in the inset

Co-living startup Common just got a shot in the arm in the form of a $16M Series B funding round that includes cash from some prominent names in NYC real estate.

The Milstein Family, LeFrak and Solon Mack Capital are among the entities named as participants in the new round, announced today.

Common, which started with a single furnished co-living space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, early last year, now operates three spaces in Brooklyn: two in Crown Heights and one in Williamsburg.

The new funding round will power an expansion of what Common CEO Brad Hargreaves calls “community-minded shared housing” to Washington, DC, and San Francisco by the end of this year.

Brad tells Bisnow Common aims to hit a pricing niche between living with roommates and a studio apartment. At the three Brooklyn spaces it operates, that means anywhere from about $1k/month to as much as $3k.

What you get for that, Brad says, is not having to schlep your own furniture into your living space (or be faced with an Ikea run when a roommate bails on you and takes the couch), basic household supplies and weekly cleaning.

But Brad says it’s really about folks living together—often after just arriving in a new city. The transition can be tough if you don’t have a social network set up in that new city.

He puts it like this: “A lot of NYC high-rises can be pretty lonely places.”

Is there demand for this sort of thing?

WeWork seems to think so. A document that leaked in August estimated its WeLive experiment, now open in Lower Manhattan and in Crystal City, VA, would account for 21% of the roughly $16B company's revenue by 2018. 

Common is seeing some of that demand. The company says it's received more than 5,000 applications for about 100 spots between the three existing locations.

Those applicants, Brad says, aren’t looking for a fly-by-night experience or to use their time in the co-living space as a landing until they can move on.

He tells us most are signing 12-month leases, and says that’s the way Common wants it.

“We like to say people come for the convenience and stay for the community.”