Belgian coliving startup Cohabs joins forces with real estate investors to accelerate growth
Cohabs, a Brussels-based company specializing in coliving, announced the entry into its capital of three new institutional investors: global real estate investor Ivanhoé Cambridge, Belfius Insurance, and the real estate arm of the Belgian Sovereign Fund (SFPIM - Real Estate). 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. They provide a unique shared housing experience through fully furnished, premium accommodations. 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.
Youri Dauber, Founder and CEO, Cohabs: "From the very 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. Combine this dynamic with the belief and support from our historical Belgian investors and our ambition has all the fuel necessary for us to accomplish our goals. Our mission will remain the same: be the most qualitative, sustainable, and member-centric coliving company in the world. Cohabs offers everything we are looking for in terms of an innovative concept in an alternative asset class, which aligns with a strong and growing trend in the living sector, and we are confident the company will grow further internationally. This operation is another demonstration of Ivanhoé Cambridge's ability to successfully close complex private equity deals, and to diversify its portfolio with alternative asset classes."
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.
This 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. This will significantly strengthen Cohabs' capital structure and increase its capacity to position itself as a major player with a focus on a sustainable coliving experience that always puts its members first.
With that in mind, this step forward is not just a win for one organization, but a major step forward for the institutionalization of the coliving industry. Cohabs was advised on this transaction by Natixis Partners & Tandem Capital Advisors.
Arnaud Malbos, Head of Investments Europe, Ivanhoé Cambridge: "We are delighted with this important step in the life of Cohabs, which we have supported with conviction since its inception. Flexibility, agility, service and quality in addition to a strong local Belgian base: these are all assets that have undoubtedly attracted Ivanhoé Cambridge. As a top-tier financial and strategic partner, AG Real Estate is convinced that such a pool of investors can only ensure the growth and sustainability of Cohabs! Congratulations to the teams for this new milestone in their history."