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industry insider
Common, the design-conscious co-living startup, raises more funding
Jan 2, 2018
Katy B. Olson

Common has secured a Series C financing round—$40 million, to be exact—led by Norwest Venture Partners, a Palo Alto, California–based firm known for its investment in mattress-on-demand company Casper. The startup, which opened its first co-living home in Brooklyn in October 2015, is currently running in five major cities, with 14 homes total and over 400 members.

Private bedroom at Common MacArthur in the San Francisco Bay Area; courtesy Common
Private bedroom at Common MacArthur in the San Francisco Bay Area; courtesy Common

A Common membership covers rent, utilities, Internet access, weekly cleaning of common spaces and the ability to transfer between homes in different cities.

Common is currently offering shared apartments in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The largest property to date is a 69-apartment building located in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. Another New York building opened last July in Queens, with bedrooms starting at $1,700. Part of the co-living space’s appeal is its design: Common boasts that rooms are fully furnished with pieces from Restoration Hardware and West Elm as well as high-end appliances.

Common’s founder and CEO, Brad Hargreaves, announced the funding on Medium, pointing out that 25 million people in the U.S. share an apartment, which constitutes an uptick of 20 percent over the last decade. He also mentioned that nearly 40 percent of adults in cities such as New York and San Francisco live with roommates.

Common Lincoln, a Brooklyn co-living location; courtesy Common
Common Lincoln, a Brooklyn co-living location; courtesy Common

“By doing this, we’re providing cities with a new type of housing through adaptive reuse and ground-up developments specifically designed for roommates,” explains Hargreaves. “And we’ve seen tremendous interest from renters—we receive over 1,000 applicants per week and over 70 percent of Common members on 12-month leases renew each year.”

Common had previously raised $16 million, in June 2017, in a round led by 8VC with investment from the prominent real estate families LeFrak, Mack and Milstein.

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