Co-living startup Venn raises $40M to 'reinvent urban neighborhoods'

The Tel Aviv-founded company wants to expand into 100 cities by 2030, while tackling 'urban loneliness' and fighting gentrification

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Co-living startup Venn announced Tuesday it raised $40 million in its first round of funding. The Tel Aviv, Israel-founded company aims to differentiate from numerous other competitors in the rapidly expanding co-living space such as Common, RoomiWeLive with its focus on entire urban neighborhoods, from managing homes to supporting local businesses and creating community spaces.

“We love the city. It keeps us energized and inspired. But we think it can be done differently – and better,” Or Bokobza, co-founder and CEO at Venn said in a statement. “There’s an entire generation of people searching for a more meaningful, connected way of urban living.”

At the core of it, Venn seems aimed at tackling what a spokesperson for the company called, “urban loneliness,” by opening doors and facilitating community events.

The company has launched spaces in three neighborhoods since being founded in 2016: Tel Aviv; Berlin, Germany and Bushwick, Brooklyn. The company, on its website, boasts of a, “transparent application process, a landlord who texts back, weekly cleaning, open workspace, and an app that keeps you connected. All included in your rent.”

“Somewhere within the madness of city life, they want more time to see friends, explore interests, and make an impact,” Bokobza said. “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.”

Venn’s website doesn’t make the price of rooms immediately available without signing up and at least beginning the application process. But an expired listing on Rent Hop shows says rooms start at $1,100 per month. The company claims to offer affordable rates, thus not fueling hyper gentrification.

The company’s $40 million investment round was led by Pitango Venture Capital, Hamilton Lane, on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and Bridges Israel. It plans to use the investment to enhance research and development capabilities, refine the company’s model for urban revitalization and increase operations to multiple cities across the U.S. and Europe. Ambitiously, the company says its goal is to bring Venn to millions of people in 100 cities by 2030.

Where Venn claims to differ from other co-living and co-working spaces, is in community investment. The company says it has a financial model that invests revenue directly back into the neighborhood with, “local small business support, cultural and creative projects, educational opportunities, safety initiatives, and programs to minimize displacement.”

Email Patrick Kearns

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