Bungalow, a new residential real estate platform, recently launched, announcing it has secured $64M in funding: a $14M Series A led by Khosla Ventures, Atomic VC, Founders Fund, Cherubic Ventures, and Wing Ventures, alongside a $50M debt facility.
Over the past several decades the price of rent has dramatically decoupled from income while student loan balances have reached record highs, putting new strains on early career professionals. Not only is housing this group’s largest expense, but the rental experience remains outdated. Though many early career professionals aren’t looking to live alone, finding roommates on traditional ad platforms is fraught with financial and personal risks. Plus, the existing housing stock is dominated by studios and one bedrooms built when most early career professionals lived with spouses.
“My co-founder and I felt the pain of renting in a new city. It was hard to find a great home and even harder to build a supportive community away from friends and family,” said Andrew Collins, co-founder and CEO of Bungalow. “We founded Bungalow to give early career professionals the ability to live in a beautiful and affordable home, in the neighborhood they want, and with a great community surrounding them.”
Bungalow utilizes existing housing supply by signing long-term leases with homeowners, and offers beautiful, multi-bedroom homes in some of the most desirable neighborhoods in cities throughout the U.S. Bungalow expertly matches potential roommates, provides furnished common areas, and takes care of utilities including WiFi and monthly cleaning services. The company also hosts monthly events for its residents, creating an instant community for those new to a city or who are looking to expand their social circle. This two-sided platform significantly reduces the friction of the rental process for both residents searching for a home and homeowners looking for a source of income without taking on the responsibilities of a landlord.
"One major challenge of today’s residential real estate market is the lack of desirable and accessible rental options for young people in urban areas, a problem that will become more pervasive in years to come,” said Keith Rabois, managing director at Khosla Ventures. “Bungalow is taking a full-stack approach that uniquely addresses the rapidly evolving needs of both renters and homeowners, while creating economic value by more effectively utilizing housing inventory."
Bungalow has been quietly operating for the last year and a half after its founding in early 2017. Since beginning operations, the company has quickly scaled to hundreds of properties and over 750 residents across five urban areas including: the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, and Seattle. Today, the company is announcing two new markets to its platform: Portland and Washington, D.C. Bungalow is currently on track to be in 12 major U.S. metro markets by the end of 2018 with plans for global expansion in 2019.
“Bungalow is taking on the $650 billion rental market for early career professionals and it may prove to be a bigger total market size than travel and taxis,” said Jack Abraham, founder and managing partner at Atomic. “By leveraging the existing housing stock and connecting demand with compelling long-term leases, Bungalow is poised to continue its growth to the rest of the country and around the globe.”