By managing homes and shared spaces on a neighbourhood scale, Venn, an Israel-based startup, hopes to bring community spirit back to urban co-living.
Venn was founded as an urban renewal experiment in Shapira, an underserved neighbourhood in Tel Aviv, to develop better neighbourhoods that encourage inclusivity, community engagement, entrepreneurship, human relationships, and creativity. Following the success of Tel Aviv, Venn now also operates in Berlin and New York, with plans to expand further globally.
The startup buys, renovates, leases, manages homes and shared spaces, and gets involved in operating local businesses in the up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Its mission is the “positive renewal of gentrifying neighbourhoods through the creation of a sustainable urban community.” Once Venn has established its foothold in the area, it builds shared workspaces, dance studios, music practice spaces and so on in accordance with the community’s needs.
However, to have access to communal services one has to pay a monthly membership fee. Yet, the company reinvests revenues back into the neighbourhood with local small business support, cultural and creative projects, educational opportunities, safety initiatives and programmes to minimise displacement.
In its Impact Report, Venn states it’s helped to create almost one hundred jobs for local residents in Shapira. The “neighbouring startup” aims to create a new kind of urban belonging by encouraging its members to become active creators and aware participants in their community.