Business Startups Venture

Co-Living Keeps Growing As Tripalink Raises $10M At $100M Valuation

Tripalink, a Los Angeles-based real estate startup providing co-living space for students and  young professionals, has raised a $10 million Series B at a $100 million valuation.

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Founded by University of Southern California-Los Angeles (USC) graduates in 2016, Tripalink has grown rapidly. According to CEO Donghao Li, the company has been profitable since the year it was founded and tripled its revenue in 2018.

The latest financing marks Tripalink’s third funding round in a ten-month period, Li said, bringing its total capital raised to $20 million. Existing investors Calin SJG Fund, China-based K2VC, and Tekton Ventures participated in the round, along with new investor Oriza Ventures.

Tripalink has two product lines. First, it works with small and medium-sized developers to create and manage co-living spaces. Second, it has also become a developer, building out its own co-living projects.

Tripalink helps provide furnished, all utilities-paid co-living spaces in Los Angeles, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Irvine, Austin, and Philadelphia. It claims that its properties are “fully occupied” in most of the cities where it currently operates. The new capital will mostly go toward market expansion with a goal of being in 30 cities by 2020, according to Li. By the end of this year, the company expects it will have developed itself nearly 4,000 beds via master leases or joint ventures.

“Besides building a community, our price per bedroom is much cheaper compared to most luxury apartments,” Li told Crunchbase News. “Purchasing land and then building our own co-living space is our ultimate goal in each market.”

The model is attractive to developer partners because the more bedrooms in a unit, the higher the value of their property, Li said. Tripalink purposely targets centrally located areas that are more likely to see appreciation over time.

Most apartments that the company rents have room for four people, with a total square footage of about 1,200. Each person has their own bedroom and bathroom, and each unit has a kitchen and living room. Larger units that can room up to six people are about 1500 square feet. Average rent per person varies on the market, Li said. In Los Angeles, monthly rent per person runs around $1,300-$1,500 whereas in cheaper markets, it’s less. Each unit has common indoor and outdoor space.

The trend of rising rental costs in hot job markets has brought all sorts of new ideas regarding living to the market. WeWork’s WeLive product line, hacker houses of dubious repute and more have become regular fare. And so long as jobs continue to cluster in big urban environments, the market may keep generating demand for new housing arrangements like what Tripalink and others can provide.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias