Co-living community platform Lyvly to grow London operation with $4.6m Series A
A community platform set up to help renters and landlords find and manage shared living accommodation has secured a multi-million pound investment.
Lyvly nabbed $4.6m (c.£3.6m) in a Series A round led by venture capital firm Mosaic Ventures.
The company will use the funding to scale its London operation and develop its marketing, product and sales teams.
Lyvly is on a mission to address the need for community, convenience and affordability in the urban rental landscape.
It was set up to maximise the potential of the growing co-living trend and work with the country’s existing housing stock, rather than through purpose-built blocks
Individuals wanting to move into a Lyvly home apply through the firm’s member committee, which comprises people from the existing community of landlords and renters.
If successful, Lyvly manages the whole experience for members, each of whom pays one monthly payment that covers rent, bills, cleaning, consumables and repairs. All Lyvly’s homes are fully furnished.
The company was co-founded by Philip Laney, Dario Favoino and Siraj Khaliq.
Philip and Dario both have over 10 years’ experience in investment and property management with Deutsche Bank and Realstar.
Siraj worked in engineering at Google in 2001 and was one of the founding engineers of the Google Book search project. He was also CTO and co-founder of Silicon Valley startup Climate Corporation, which was acquired in 2013 for more than $1.1bn.
Philip Laney, said: “A lot of the housing sector doesn’t care for tenants, and they become more like commodities.
“Whereas we are creating genuine communities around rental housing that allow people to get a lot more out of their life. We have seen a huge movement towards building communities in almost all industries aside from housing. And we believe community should start at home.”
He continued: “The rental experience for young people in cities is stressful and unpleasant. People are also being forced to live further and further out just to be able to afford a decent home. We’re changing this. We also provide a service that makes life easier to manage and living with people a joy.
“We’re so excited about this investment as it will enable us to continue our rapid growth. We already have an incredible team and advisors and will be expanding this further. We are recruiting recruit some of the best developers, marketers and sales staff to help us bring our service across the UK and Europe.”
Mosaic Ventures co-founder and partner Simon Levene commented: “Long term residential rental is a multi-billion dollar asset class where business model innovation is overdue. Leveraging community for shared living offers such potential.
“Lyvly provides a platform for renters to be matched with great properties and flatmates, taking care of logistics and much of the hassle.”
He added: “Landlords win too, with happier tenants/fewer voids and a better property management service.”
As part of the investment, the co-founder of hospitality company onefinestay, Greg Marsh, has joined Lyvly in the role of chairman.
Greg said of the deal: “I’m delighted to be involved with Lyvly at a pivotal stage in its development. Co-living is a powerful innovation in the residential real estate market, and with Phil at the company’s helm, I believe Lyvly will be the company which leads the development of that new category in the UK and beyond.”