Singapore-based co-living startup Cove has raised $4.6 million for its Series A round led by Keppel Land, the real estate arm of Singapore-listed conglomerate Keppel Corporation.
Other investors joining the round include Idinvest Partners, a Eurazeo Group subsidiary and one of Europe’s largest private equity investors, Antler, Venturra Capital, Yuj Ventures, which is backed by the family office of Sid Yog called The Xander Group, Picus Capital, Found Ventures and other angel investors.
Cove was founded in 2018 as a startup providing co-living options for young professionals and students in Southeast Asia. The firm operates in Singapore and Jakarta, overseeing 550 rooms across both cities. One of its biggest projects is a 138 room, purpose-built co-living space for students, co-developed with Indonesian real estate giant Lippo Group.
Cove declined to reveal figures on how COVID has impacted its occupancy rates, but said that they have “remained resilient” since people still need affordable and convenient housing solutions. The firm added that the flexibility of their offer has also been perceived as a benefit by tenants who are facing more uncertainty during this pandemic.
The fund proceeds will be used to expand Cove’s room count and geographical footprint. It plans to double its offering to 1,000 rooms across its two cities by the first half of 2021, and expand in new markets like Vietnam and the Philippines.
“We are fortunate to have found such high-calibre partners who share our vision. The team is more committed than ever to providing thousands of awesome urban living experiences and playing our part in fueling the growth of this region’s economic centres,” said Guillaume Castagne, co-founder and CEO of Cove.
Southeast Asia’s co-living sector has multiple competitors in the space, a number of whom have regional ambitions. The most prominent of which is Singapore-based Hmlet which last raised a $40 million Series B round led by Burda Principal Partners and joined by Sequoia India, Mitsubishi Real Estate and Reinventure.
Malaysia-based LiveIn.com (formerly Hostel Hunting), which has raised $4.5 million to date from investors like Jungle Ventures, also has plans to gain further inroads into Thailand and enter Vietnam and the Philippines.
Within Indonesia alone, several local players ply the scene. These include names like Kakao Ventures-backed Mamikos, BaCe Capital-backed RoomMe and Shunwei Capital-backed Rukita.
Regional co-working startups OYO and RedDoorz had at one point also considered veering into the co-living segment in 2019. But many of those ambitions have since fallen by the wayside, following the COVID outbreak in the early part of this year.
Cove sees this as an opportunity to double down on the segment.
“Co-living is a different proposition to short term stay, meeting very different needs for the consumer. As we’ve been a pure co-living player from the start, we understand deeply how to cater to that market and make the business model work for us and our property owners,” shared Sophie Jokelson, co-founder of Cove.