If you live in New York City, you know that the cost of renting a place can be expensive. One company wants to make it more affordable in not only the Big Apple, but also throughout the U.S. through what it calls “a community offering flexible shared housing.” Called Common, today it has raised a $7.35 million series A round of financing led by Maveron.
What is “a community offering flexible shared housing”? It’s co-living. Common offers its members a secure and flexible place in major cities, giving them a furnished space with kitchenware and basics covered; Wi-Fi; deliveries of supplies like coffee, tea, and paper towels; weekly housecleaning; access to communal areas and community events; and more. All this for $150 per month, plus the room fee (which varies by location).
This isn’t a copy of Airbnb. Common requires a minimum 30-day commitment;by doing so, it believes it will not run afoul of hotel laws that have recently entangled Airbnb. Residents don’t rent an entire apartment. Instead they’re renting space by the bedroom in buildings owned by Common and its real estate partners.
Common was founded by Brad Hargreaves and comes after a run at General Assembly, which he helped create. So it’s not surprising to see him try to apply the co-working lifestyle to the living space.
Joining Maveron in this round of funding are Lowercase Capital, Slow Ventures, 500 Startups, and others. Maveron’s general partner Jason Stoffer will be joining Common’s board. It’s most likely that Common will use the funding to expand its inventory and also launch pilot programs in additional cities.
The service is targeting Brooklyn, New York as its first location, scheduled to open in the fall.