Residential start-up Dash Living is launching its first co-living project in Hong Kong after receiving commitments of $10 million in a pre-series A funding round.
The 51-room property on Carnarvon Road in Tsim Sha Tsui brings the five-year-old company’s portfolio to over 600 rooms in the Asian financial hub including serviced apartments, co-living spaces, and a boutique hotel.
The capital raised in the funding round, which was led by Hong Kong-based venture capital fund Mindworks, will be used to help finance the residential property manager’s expansion across multiple Asian markets over the next eighteen months, Dash Living founder Aaron Lee revealed to Mingtiandi.
Tapping a Millennial Demand
Targeting young urban professionals looking for affordability and flexibility in a city with a limited supply of reasonably priced housing, the company’s recently opened co-living offering provides residents with newly refurbished rooms on rolling monthly contracts.
“Millennials are getting priced out of the market and we’re trying to use co-living to solve that problem,” Lee said.
Prices at the Carnarvon Road facility start from HK$11,000 ($1,400) for a fully furnished en-suite studio of around 100 square feet, while HK$18,000 per month gets residents a larger studio big enough for three beds. Dash co-living tenants also have access to the property’s communal facilities including a fully-equipped kitchen and a 1,200 square foot (111 square metre) rooftop terrace.
Lee explained that demand for the company’s co-living operation, which is fully occupied after opening four months ago, is being driven by young professionals and millennials who are looking for flexibility, affordability and a ready-made community that they can plug into.
Offering an App-connected People Network
“We’ve seen a huge demand from expats who are coming to the city for the first time, and perhaps don’t have friends or family here, but Dash offers them a network of people they can interact with,” Lee said.
The company organises regular social gatherings such as “Happy Wednesdays” at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and one-off events like last month’s mid-autumn festival party hosted by Moonzen Brewery.
Lee said residents also get “perks” as a member of the Dash community, including a gym pass for any VO2 Fitness Centre in the city and discounts at co-working spaces, restaurants and cafes.
A mobile app, which residents use to access their room as well as common spaces like the lounge and laundry room, provides a messaging service and access to partners’ discounts.
Located on Carnarvon Road just across the harbour from Central, the co-living property is a five-minute walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MRT.
Locking Residents in Across 4 Brands
Dash Living’s expansion into co-living comes after the company had already established a portfolio of over 200 serviced apartments under the banner “Dash Suites” located in various properties across Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Jordan.
The company also operates an Airbnb-style home-sharing platform dubbed Dashare, which makes available an additional 300 units across Hong Kong, as well as a 33-room hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui
According to Lee, the four brands are interconnected and residents of the company’s various offerings are able to interact with each other as a community.
“What we’re expecting to see is that some of our residents graduate from co-living into suites as time goes on, while still enjoying access to community events,” he said. “We’re not just a co-living company – we’re a network of people aged between 20 and 50 years old who have a similar mentality.”
Co-Living Catches on in Hong Kong
The demand that Dash has seen for co-living in Hong Kong has led other shared residential operators in the city to roll out their own expansion plans.
Just four days ago, an exclusive report by Mingtiandi revealed that Weave Co-living had purchased a 141-key hotel for HK$515 million that the Warburg Pincus-backed company is planning to convert into a 250-room co-living space.
Just four days before that announcement, rival operator Hmlet announced that it is opening a 57-room location in Mong Kok, the company’s largest en bloc property to date in Hong Kong.