Gravity Co-living is on a mission to globally improve the lives of today’s rental generation through a community-centred, seamless and borderless living experience. Gravity removes the pain points of renting by creating a global consumer first rental model as more millennials seek experience and convenience over ownership, moving towards the sharing economy.
Gravity is planning to disrupt rental industry By serving the entire rental lifecycle that promotes a healthier, happier and more meaningful lifestyle. The co-living company has four properties across London, two in Camden, one in Finsbury Park and the other in Hounslow.
Who is gravity co-living and who are the brains behind it?
I founded the company with Susanna Rock in late 2017. Prior to founding Gravity, we both had extensive experience working within real-estate and investments. In that time, we became passionate about the potential of property as a service, watching the boom of both the co-working and student housing markets. We are now a team of 8 people who have been instrumental in growing the brand, community and portfolio.
What was your inspiration for starting the business?
Susanna and I have experienced the drawbacks of shifting work. We have identified a significant gap in the market as the way young professionals live, work and engage has changed drastically over the past decade, and housing providers globally are stuck in the past. Professionals today demand flexible, all-inclusive, experience-driven housing solutions. This represents a significant shift of power to the tenant, giving them more freedom, time, and support to focus on what matters to them. Gravity gives the ability to move from one city to another without getting stuck in long-term contracts with landlords or utility providers. It’s a hassle free life that is already set up for you.
How does co-life work with gravity?
It’s straightforward: Members can apply for a live membership through our website in a matter of seconds, and our Community Managers take care of the rest. Members can proceed on the same day and enter into an all inclusive contract with highly flexible lease terms ranging from 1 month to 12 months. with the help of automation and technologyOur Community Managers eliminate the pain points of traditional renters from day-to-day maintenance, cleaning, laundry, meal-planning, wellbeing, social and development around events and activities (all available on a dedicated app).
What sets you apart from your competitors?
First, it’s all about data-driven community curation. We continuously collect data on our members to organize buildings, communities, events and partnerships based on the needs of each client. For example, our data showed a sharp trend in membership growth within the entrepreneurial and self-employed demographic. Therefore, we have partnered with VCs, start-up incubators, educational partners and global tech brands to save over £130,000 in business costs.
Secondly, we believe that home is important, but so is leaving it. Rather than capitalizing on the diverse hospitality verticals by building self-contained communities, we foster local economic development by working closely with small businesses. We have over 700 local and national partnerships for members to integrate themselves into a new city.
I believe these are the reasons behind Gravity having one of the highest NPS scores in the industry and being voted among the top 4 co-living operators globally at the Co-living Awards.
How has the way people live and work affect your business?
We’ve seen a boom in co-living due to locked-down loneliness and the need for flexible, multi-functional homes. In the past year, Gravity has seen a 450% year-on-year growth and has opened three new sites. Currently, housing is not customer-centric, with a study by RIBA showing that nearly 70% of respondents believed that a better designed home would increase their happiness while working remotely. We replace the sense of community you get from going into the office and provide a healthy space for innovation by staying away from the toxic hustle tough culture.
How do you go about identifying properties to use and how do you find those properties that you do after?
We generally work directly with Institutional Landlords, Real Estate Pay Funds, Developers and Family Offices. An important element of our due diligence process is our knowledge of the real estate market. Nevertheless, we also use a predictive analytical and AI platform called Gleensite to support our thesis and establish pricing/demand dynamics.
In such a competitive market, how do you raise capital and what are the challenges you face?
We have raised £2m in venture funding so far. Much of this was during the pandemic, showing the resilience of our business model during a challenging macroeconomic environment. We aim to close a fresh equity round by August, which is currently 50% subscribed.
Our challenge was to identify the right investors because our business sits between real estate, lifestyle and technology, and most investors have strict investment mandates.
How do you overcome those challenges?
We overcame the challenge by flexibly negotiating with investors to be consistent, narrow down our target investors list and reach mutually attractive terms.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for gravitational co-life in the next few years?
The biggest challenge I see is meeting the growing demand for co-living space. We anticipate that this will accelerate after the pandemic.
What are Gravity Co-living’s plans for the future?
We aim to be the preferred partner for institutional real estate investors looking to enter the co-living space in high-density urban centers globally, with a phased approach in Europe, Southeast Asia and North America respectively. Next year, we will also launch our social membership in London and continue to grow our borderless community of talent in major business cities globally.
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