Co-living startup Ollie has been scooped up by a well-funded rival, after the pandemic took a toll on the industry.
Starcity, based in San Francisco, acquired Ollie’s technology, assets and management contracts, reported Commercial Observer. Key executives, including president Gregg Christiansen, will join Starcity.
Terms were not disclosed, but the deal boosts Starcity’s portfolio to 1,500 units with 3,000 more in development. It also gives Starcity access to Ollie’s roommate-matching and amenities programs. “They have tech that matched our roadmap,” Starcity founder and CEO Jon Dishotsky told CO.
Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based Starcity has raised $50 million from investors. In April, it nabbed a $30 million Series B from Peak State Ventures, Reshape and Y Combinator.
Ollie was started in 2013 by brothers Andrew and Chris Bledsoe, who raised a total of $15 million, according to Crunchbase. Investors included the Moinian Group and Texas Employees Retirement System and Justin Mateen, co-founder of Tinder.
In New York, Ollie also partnered with Simon Baron Development and managed some apartments at its Alta tower in Long Island City.
Earlier this year, the Bledsoes left their roles at the firm and Christiansen, a board member, stepped in to lead the company. In July, he said occupancy was down significantly since the onset of the pandemic.
Beyond the tech assets, Ollie increases Starcity’s footprint. “We’re very strong on the West Coast, we’re growing in Europe, but don’t have anything on the East Coast,” Dishotsky said.
He said demand, after plunging earlier this year, is back to pre-Covid levels.
The Starcity CEO added that co-living isn’t just a “lifestyle layer,” but provides great returns to landlords and affordable housing to tenants.
[CO] — E.B. Solomont