In a major step forward for the institutionalization of the coliving industry, global real estate investor Ivanhoé Cambridge, Belfius Insurance, and the real estate arm of the Belgian Sovereign Fund SFPIM have announced that they have made their entry into the share capital of Cohabs, a Brussels-based company specializing in coliving.
All the founders and historical shareholders AG Real Estate and Alphastone remain on board to fuel the growth of the company.
Founded in 2016 by four Belgian entrepreneurs — Youri Dauber, François Samyn, Malik Dauber, and Lionel Jadot — Cohabs is a fully integrated coliving platform that both owns and operates its real estate assets. The 50-person company has a current portfolio of 1.550 bedrooms across five cities (Brussels, Paris, New York, Madrid, and Luxembourg) with the majority of its team and assets based in Brussels.
Driven by a community-first approach, Cohabs prioritizes the experience of its members through a tech-centric and flexible process. The company is committed to limiting its impact on the environment by focusing on a global sustainable approach. From a social standpoint, Cohabs is committed to maintaining 5% of the Belgium portfolio as solidarity bedrooms with 50% reduced rent to ensure coliving is accessible for all.
With the ambition to reach 5,000 bedrooms across 11 cities by the end of 2026, Cohabs looks to initiate the next step in expansion through increased institutional support.
The equity investment will allow investors to assist Cohabs in terms of structuring, financing, and operational growth due to their extensive resources and experience in developing high-quality real estate around the world, the company said in a statement. It will also significantly strengthen Cohabs’ capital structure.
‘From the first meeting with Ivanhoé Cambridge, it was clear we were a good fit. They immediately understood our vision of coliving and shared our fundamental values. They have the experience, resources, and drive to help us reach the next level,’ said Youri Dauber, founder & CEO of Cohabs.
‘Cohabs offers everything we are looking for in terms of an innovative concept in an alternative asset class, which matches a strong and growing trend in the living sector, and we are confident the company will further grow internationally. This operation is another demonstration of Ivanhoé Cambridge’s ability to successfully close structured private equity deals, and to diversify its portfolio with alternative asset classes,’ added Arnaud Malbos, head of Investments Europe for Ivanhoé Cambridge.
Cohabs was advised on this transaction by Natixis Partners & Tandem Capital Advisors.