We are excited to share that Common has closed a $40M Series C financing round led by Norwest Venture Partners. In conjunction with this investment, we are also thrilled to welcome Jeff Crowe, Managing Partner at Norwest, to Common’s board of directors.
In October 2015, we opened up our first coliving home in Brooklyn. Since then, we’ve expanded to 14 homes across 5 major cities. Our 400+ members represent 27 different nationalities, with 70% of members moving to a new city for the first time, and 32% of members hailing from overseas.
Cities are facing the immense challenge of keeping up with housing demand from all corners. Young adults are getting married later and staying in cities longer than previous generations, while empty nesters are increasingly choosing city life over the suburbs. For the first time in over a century, more young, working people live with their parents than own their own home. Together, these trends have led unprecedented numbers of people to live with roommates: 25 million Americans in total share an apartment, up 20% over the past 10 years. In some cities like New York and San Francisco, as many as 40% of all adults live with roommates.
Common is making the experience of living with roommates better, keeping the good parts of living with others — the social environment and affordability — while removing the annoyances. We thoughtfully consider the difficulties of city living; membership at Common includes rent, all utilities, WiFi, weekly cleaning of shared spaces, furnished apartments, flexible lease terms, and seamless transfers between the homes and cities in our network. By doing this, we’re providing cities with a new type of housing through adaptive reuse and ground-up developments specifically designed for roommates. And we’ve seen tremendous interest from renters — we receive over 1,000 applicants per week and over 70% of Common members on 12-month leases renew each year.
In addition to improving the lives of our members, we are focused on better serving our real estate partners as an operator of buildings designed for sharing. By collaborating with owners and developers from day one on building design, we are able to manage Common homes in ways that increase member satisfaction, efficiency, and real estate partner returns.
This Series C investment will help us meet the demand for coliving, enabling our continued growth, expansion, and investment in a great experience for all our members. We are excited to have fantastic partners in Norwest on the journey with us.