Israeli shared neighborhood company Venn today announced that it has completed a $60 million Series B financing round led by Group 11, with participation from Pitango, Hamilton Lane and Bridges Israel. This brings to $100 million the total amount raised by the company.
After recording 1,200% growth in 2020, Venn will use the new capital for substantial investments in hiring, new business, and US operations. This will include dozens of new R&D positions in the company’s international product engineering team, expanding Venn’s business development efforts as partnerships with property managers, and continuing to grow capabilities with local businesses and services to create new opportunities for neighborhood participation.
In communities from Tel Aviv where it began, to Brooklyn, Kansas City, and Berlin, Venn has deployed its technology platforms, physical and virtual spaces, and local programming and expertise that combine into its seamless Neighborhood as a Service, or NaaS, offering.
According to Venn’s 2020 Annual Impact Report, Venn Neighbors who participated in two or more of the company’s local programming and events were 90% more likely to remain in their neighborhoods and put down roots, resulting in better business for property managers and local businesses. In 2020, Venn saw a 37% reduction in people leaving their neighborhoods and a 20% increase in people moving in. Venn will expand to five more cities in the US in 2021, as it continues to generate momentum and adoption.
The company was founded in 2017 by three Israeli friends - CEO Or Bokobza, CPO Chen Avni and David Sheraz.
Bokoboza said, "Loneliness was an epidemic long before Covid-19. Over the past 30 years, it’s become easier to connect with strangers around the world than our neighbors around the corner. Remember when we used to be able to walk down the street and run into our friends? Or go to the grocery store and be greeted by name? We’ve lost touch with something elemental and vital for our lives and progress: the idea of ‘Neighborhood.’ This is the problem that Venn was built to solve. We are using the power of community to build better neighborhoods for neighbors, property developers, and local businesses alike, and our work is more important now than ever before."
While Venn’s goal has always been to combine the feeling of belonging that a true neighborhood provides with the cutting-edge technology of tomorrow, the challenges of the past year accelerated demand for Venn’s offering and pushed the company to scale its business model to establish more relationships directly with property developers. This combined B2B and B2C approach played a significant role in the company’s extraordinary growth. Venn’s Neighborhood Platform enables more active communication between property developers, landlords and residents, and provides an unprecedented level of service and participation through Venn’s trained community managers and local, custom events. The result is a $120 increase in net operating income (NOI) per unit for property developers due to increased resident retention and demand.
Avni said, "Over the years in our neighborhoods, we’ve learned that individual and community levels of loneliness and connection are highly accurate predictors of people’s likelihood to stay and put down roots. And we’ve learned that Venn can support three behaviors to improve people’s sense of connection: real-life social links between neighbors; support for the local economy; and civic/community service. Ultimately, a neighborhood is made not by people who move there, but by the people who stay. We’re in the business of making people want to stay and participate in their neighborhoods long-term."
Group 11 managing partner Dovi Frances said, "You don’t need data to know that people crave connection, but Venn’s numbers speak volumes. People want to live in communities that make them feel that they belong, and Venn has found a way to achieve that through its technology, expertise, and experiences."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 2, 2021
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