Fresh off a $16 million funding round, Brooklyn-based coliving startup Common announced yesterday it’s acquiring subleasing startup Skylight. Skylight is essentially Airbnb for subletting your apartment.
— Common (@hicommon) September 7, 2016
In the announcement, Common explained that the primary driver behind the acquisition of Skylight, which has more than 125,000 users, was its data. Because coliving differs significantly from renting, the rental data that exists wasn’t as useful for Common.
“By acquiring Skylight, Common now has access to aggregated, anonymized data from a large market segment that has been largely invisible to brokers and developers: those who find shared housing through Craigslist and other sublet searches,” the company said in a statement. “This data will give Common a large channel to have visibility into not only how to better market Common homes to prospective tenants, but also understand the preferences of a wider variety of people looking for roommates or a new home.”
In addition, Common has acquired new hires from Skylight including Michael Lisovetsky (cofounder and CEO), Jason Marmon (cofounder) and Max Makarochkin (engineer). Investors in Skylight include Tim Draper (with past successes like Skype, Tesla, Theranos (?), Hotmail, Twitch and dozens of others), Marc Benioff (founder of Salesforce) and Great Oaks Venture Capital.
Coliving, for the uninitiated, is akin to coworking. Rather than each individual having their own apartment, each person has their own bedroom, and shares common spaces and amenities with everyone else in the house. Rents for the bedrooms in the Havemayer house run from $1,800 to $2,700, which is not exactly cheaper than what you would find in the area, but given that many household expenses and all utilities are included, is maybe not quite as eye-popping as it would first seem.
Common currently has four homes: three in Brooklyn and one in San Francisco. More are on the way.
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