A year of lockdowns has reinforced the case for co-living, the CEO of Danish co-living startup LifeX has said as the company bucked pandemic-led slowdowns to expand into new markets.
Having announced the company’s first deal in Belgium through a partnership with property developer Candor, Sune Theodorsen, CEO of LifeX, said: “The corona pandemic has provided significant amounts of data, sparking difficult conversations about topics like loneliness, the importance of community and sustainability.
He added: “We have seen our community come together in a meaningful way over the past year. Though there have been challenges, everything I’ve seen from our team and our members has strengthened my belief in the concept of co-living.”
Belgium will be the seventh market for LifeX, which operates more than 70 ‘family-style’ co-living properties in Copenhagen, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Munich and London.
Alongside the partnership with Candor, LifeX recently said it had secured a deal with the real estate subsidiary of one of Denmark’s leading pension funds on a property in Copenhagen.
LifeX has kept details of the deal under wraps but did say it would be the company’s single largest asset to date and its first purpose-built property.
These announcements follow LifeX’s €6m fundraise last year, which it is now using to strengthen its presence in new and existing markets.
The timing of the expansion reflects the company’s belief that co-living has become more important amid continuing restrictions around the world. LifeX cited a survey of its members that said 90% of respondents agreed that co-living had made the challenges of lockdown easier.
As demand shifts and lockdowns ease, LifeX said it will adapt its products to meet those changing needs. Although its family-style co-living model will continue to have a place in its strategy, the startup plans to offer a wider range of products, with a stronger focus on apartments with a range of sizes and styles.
Jan Vlaminck, director of asset management and development at Candor, said: “At Candor, we look constantly at how we can add value to our developments and make them come alive. We believe in a positive attitude and passion for our business. That’s where we encounter LifeX. We are looking forward to welcoming LifeX members to our Brussels co-living spaces.”