Cove, a co-living startup based in Singapore revealed today that it has closed its Series A funding round at US$4.6 million. Keppel Land, the real estate arm of Keppel Corporation, a conglomerate listed on the Singapore exchange board has led the round.
Other notable investors joining the round also include Antler, Venturra Capital, Yuj Ventures, Picus Capital, Found Ventures, and Idinvest Partners, a Eurazeo Group subsidiary and one of Europe’s largest private equity investors.
Tan Swee Yiow, the CEO of Keppel Land, says, “This investment is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030 and Keppel Land’s strategy, where we seek to offer a full suite of urban living solutions that are driven by technology and highly complementary to our core real estate business.”
Founded in 2018, Cove is a startup providing co-living options for young professionals and students in Southeast Asia. The startup currently has about 300 move-in ready rooms and studios in Singapore and 250 rooms in Jakarta.
Its biggest project to date is a 138 room, purpose-built co-living space for students, that has been co-developed with Indonesian real estate giant Lippo Group.
According to DealStreetAssia, Cove did not reveal figures on how the recent pandemic has affected its occupancy rates but said that the startup has remained resilient since people still need affordable housing options.
The Singaporean startup offers flexible monthly contracts for tenants, who can book their stay through the company’s app or its online listing platform. This removes the middlemen in the process and allows the startup to offer its stay at a more affordable price.
“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, the co-founder of Cove.
Asa a matter of fact, Cove sees the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to double down on the segment, adding that the flexibility of their solutions has been beneficial to their tenants who are now facing more uncertainty during this pandemic.
With this funding round, Cove plans to use the capital financing to increase its room count and expand its 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-caliber 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 centers,” said Cuillaume Castagne, the co-founder and CEO of Cove.
In Southeast Asia, Cove competes with Hmlet and LiveIn.com. Similarly based in Singapore, Hmlet last raised a US$40 million Series B financing round led by Burda Principal Partners and joined by Sequoia India, Mitsubishi Real Estate, and Reinventrue.
Meanwhile, Jungle Ventures-backed LiveIn.com has raised US$4.5 million in funding to date and has plans to expand further into Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.