How Lyvly is reinventing shared living to tackle affordability
The shared living management platform has raised $4.6m (£3.6m) from VC firm, Mosaic Ventures, to help scale up its London operations and expand membership to potential renters by 10 times.
To do this Lyvly plans to use the funds to get more properties and landlords on board and improve operational costs, as well as a brand redesign.
The platform aims to help landlords and renters find and manage shared living accommodation with a focus on creating a network of like-minded individuals. Shared living is a trend that is fast growing as rental prices for properties in cities are skyrocketing. The average rental price of a one-bed flat in central London is over £1,300 per month.
Philip Laney, co-founder and CEO of Lyvly, said: “The rental experience for young people in cities is stressful and unpleasant. People are also being forced to live further and further out just to be able to afford a decent home. We’re changing this. We also provide a service that makes life easier to manage and living with people a joy.”
Lyvly refers to its renters as ‘members’ and those looking to move into a Lyvly home apply online. The application is then passed through to the members’ committee, which consists of people from the existing community.
The communities are targeted at professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives and more, generally aged 25-40.
Unlike the usual rental experience of having multiple bills to pay, Lyvly members pay one single monthly payment that covers the cost of rent, bills, cleaning, consumables and repairs. The homes are also fully furnished.
The startup has already partnered with furniture company, Loft, meal delivery service, Food Envy, and Laundry Republic to provide additional community experiences.
For landlords, Lyvly finds and vets potential renters and provides them with property management services.
Why Mosaic Ventures invested in Lyvly
Simon Levene, partner of Mosaic Ventures, explained why Lyvly was worth investing in: “Long term residential rental is a multi-billion-dollar asset class where business model innovation is overdue. Leveraging community for shared living offers such potential. Lyvly provides a platform for renters to be matched with great properties and flatmates, taking care of logistics and much of the hassle. Landlords win too, with happier tenants/fewer voids and a better property management service.”
In Mosaic’s own blog, Simon added: “Unlike WeWork, Lyvly is asset-light. They do not own the properties or sign 10-year leases — instead they are a technology-enabled ‘managed marketplace’ providing a full suite of services between landlord and tenant. It is a higher-touch version of Airbnb, which has satisfied an analogous need in short-term holiday lets.”