Co-living firm Common files for bankruptcy 

Company counted more than 5K units and $110M in venture capital

Co-Living Firm Common Files for Bankruptcy
Habyt's Luca Bovone (LinkedIn, Getty)

A former top player in the emerging co-living space, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on Friday and will liquidate.

The assets of Common, once the largest co-living company in North America, will be sold off to repay creditors under Chapter 7, Bloomberg reported. Common’s assets are up to $10 million, against up to $50 million in liabilities, according to its bankruptcy petition.

Started in New York in 2015, the company’s venture capital fundraise hit $113 million in 2020 following a $50 million Series D round.  Investors in Common have included Kinnevik AB, Maveron and LeFrak, the latter of which was part of a $16 million fundraise in 2016.

The company last year merged with its German counterpart, Habyt Group, which became the parent company of Common.

“The Common team has dedicated themselves to delivering innovative living solutions to customers,” Habyt CEO Luca Bovone said in a statement. “It is deeply disappointing to end this journey.”

On top of the “pressure of interest rates,” Bovone cited Common’s contracts and business as reasons for its bankruptcy. Common operates 5,200 units across a dozen cities, where tenants will be twisting in the wind; the company has six properties in Manhattan and 12 in Brooklyn, according to PincusCo.

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Historically, Common managed its units under revenue-sharing agreements with landlords, in addition to some traditional apartments. Tenants in its buildings live in suites with other roommates, sharing common areas, including kitchens and even bathrooms.

One of Common’s biggest moves came in 2021 when it reached an agreement with former rival Starcity to take over management of much of the latter’s global portfolio. The deal came after Starcity acquired Ollie, another co-living startup.

Issues, popped up in 2022, when the Daily Beast reported on a pattern of tenant complaints at the company’s communal spaces, such as poor security, maintenance delays and alleged threats from occupants that went unaddressed.

Founder Brad Hargreaves stepped down from the startup in August 2022. Former Point Hospitality Group CEO Karlene Holloman ascended to the top job after serving as Common’s head of property management.

Holden Walter-Warner

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