Belgian co-living startup Cohabs has bagged a massive €110 million round and set its sights on achieving 5,000 bedrooms for co-living rental and real-estate in the next four years.
Cohabs is blending equity and debt for this raise, taking on €40 million in loans which can be turned into shares later on and the remaining €70 million as standard equity funding.
The startup also can now count on further cash injections, so long as things go to plan.
In mid-2024, Cohabs says investors will inject another €250 million (with the same equity/debt split), if its current business plan is achieved.
Co-living is a growing trend in Europe but particularly in its most famous places. Figures published by JLL, a real estate services company, revealed 24 major cities accounted for roughly a quarter of Europe's co-living market value; and 40% of that was attributed to just two places, London and Amsterdam.
Unlike traditional built-for-rent properties, co-living is designed from the ground up to foster a sense of community, where residents (often young professionals, who weren't acquainted before they moved in) enjoy shared common areas like gyms, games parlours and enlarged gathering spaces.
Cohabs's business plan would see its co-living properties open for viewings in 11 cities by 2026-end. And the founding CEO Youri Dauber tells Tech.eu this latest raise will provide the "structure and resources to make it happen."
In Brussels at the moment Cohabs is marketing 49 co-living houses, but it has also soared into a handful of other countries, with 10 co-living places now available in New York City, as well as accommodation in Paris and Madrid and Luxembourg. In all, 1,550 bedrooms are currently owned and operated by Cohabs.
In securing the €110 million round, Cohabs named two new, real estate-focused participants. Ivanhoé Cambridge, the Canadian real estate investor, contributed funds as did the real estate arm of Belgium's Sovereign Fund.
Filling out the round was Belfus Insurance, a subsidiary of the Belgian banking and insurance giant Belfius, while also mentioned were existing shareholders AG Real Estate and Alphastone.