Co-Living-Style Startup Venn Raises $40M In Funding Round
Venn, an Israeli startup that leases and renovates properties before renting them out to individual residents and commercial tenants, announced it has raised $40M in a Series A round.
The investors include Pitango Venture Capital, Hamilton Lane — on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund — and Bridges Israel, according to Venn. It plans to use the money to expand in the U.S. and Europe, with the view of reaching 100 cities by 2030.
The company, which describes itself as an urban-tech startup, began in 2016 in the Shapira neighborhood in south Tel Aviv, Israel. It has since expanded to Berlin and Brooklyn, and has more than six residential buildings and three shared spaces in Bushwick.
Venn runs its business by signing leases with local landlords for up to 10 to 12 years, according to the company. It then revamps the properties and leases them to “members” and commercial tenants like schools, cafés and nonprofits.
The shared spaces are made available to the members via an app, and the company says it invests revenue back into the local community by funding local businesses and “programs to minimize displacement.”
“There’s an entire generation of people searching for a more meaningful, connected way of urban living. Somewhere within the madness of city life, they want more time to see friends, explore interests and make an impact,” Venn co-founder and CEO Or Bokobza said in a statement. “Venn is reinventing the urban neighborhood by equipping our community of young urbanites with the tools they need to connect, collaborate and build a home beyond their houses.”
Co-living is still a fledgling industry in the United States, but companies are increasingly seeing it as a viable business in popular, high-cost places like New York City.
In Long Island City, co-living company Ollie manages the lower third of Simon Baron’s rental building at 29-22 Northern Blvd. The company says the co-living floors are delivering a 44% per SF premium on rent when compared to the standard apartments.
Other real estate companies like Vornado, Boston Properties and Rudin Management have all tested out the concept or invested in co-living companies.