Society, a residential management company, says the number of UK renters between the ages of 25 and 34 has doubled during the last ten year. This number is set to increase dramatically during the next few years. Society, “a company that promotes co-living for every generation,” wants to disrupt the rental market by harnessing digital, community, sharing economy and design.
The brainchild of former founder and CEO of Yotel, Gerard Greene, Society is working on a series of co-living communities from London to Manchester to Edinburgh with the first set to open in 2018. Today, Society has announced an equity funding round on Seedrs seeking £500,000 in order to continue development of its proprietary digital platform and grow its management contracts with prospective developers nationwide. The crowdfunding round on Seedrs offers 12.47% equity in the company with a pre-money valuation of £3.5 million.
Society explains it now taking an average of 18 years to save for a deposit to buy a home. “Generation Rent” is expected to increase from 20% of the population to 40% in the next ten years. Society is focused on transforming the burgeoning co-living sector in order to help the residential industry keep up with the continually evolving consumer demands. Society says it wants to overhaul both the reality and the reputation of the current rental experience.
CEO and founder Greene spent the early part of his career in operations for the hotel industry. Having co-founded Yotel, the pioneer of the micro-hotel sector, the concept behind Yotel, much like Society, was to revolutionize the hotel industry via design and technological innovation. Greene says that over time his interest has shifted into where people live day to day, rather than in transit. This gave rise to what Society is today.
“With the rental population booming at an unprecedented pace, the residential market is ripe for disruption and there is huge potential for technological innovation to drive efficiency, improve community and provide better customer service. Using our seamless digital platform, we are confident that we can offer an attractive alternative to renters in the build-to-rent market, and provide a unique hotel standard of service to customers in their everyday lives.”
Society says it has developed a unique seamless digital platform that connects its members and helps build instant communities, resulting in an enjoyable experience for members. The bespoke app is designed to offer members enhanced search and move in capabilities, membership to the Society community and access to additional services.
Society will enable prospective tenants to manage all of their admin online – removing much of the cost and hassle from accessing the rental market. The aim is to make renting a home as easy as booking a hotel room. A member’s marketplace will encourage members to offer services to each other and to share whether that be picnic gear, bikes, dog walking services or a homework club.
The digital platform will also increase returns for owners by including on-demand services bookable on mobile for additional revenue, dynamic revenue management (short / long term lets – similar to AirBnB).
Greene has put together a senior team of Partners that includes hotel, residential lettings, digital and corporate finance experts.
Significant figures include Nigel Buchanan, the former COO of Yotel who has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry including Hotel du Vin, and Katie Partridge, who has a strong track record in property corporate finance and more specifically in the PRS industry. In addition, the senior team includes those formerly at Rightmove, Get Living, Grainger and Countrywide.
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