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Proptech startup Dongnae mentioned Tuesday it plans to accumulate Stevens, a South Korean firm that operates co-living enterprise Dears.

The 2 corporations didn’t disclose the acquisition worth, however Dongnae mentioned it should buy Stevens with a mixture of money and fairness. The Seoul-based proptech outfit beforehand raised a complete of $34 million, together with a $21 million Series A round it introduced final 12 months. Dongnae expects to shut the transaction by the tip of September. The corporate’s buyers embrace the likes of NFX, Daol Funding, Hana Monetary, MetaProp, Maple VC and WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey.

Dongnae’s major product, Dongnae FLEX, presents a furnished condominium rental on its platform with versatile lease phrases for as brief a interval as 4 weeks and decrease rental deposits.

The addition of Dears will enable the corporate to improve the Dongnae FLEX service, handle properties “with a collective AUM of over $400 million,” and span 90 condominium complexes throughout Seoul and Pangyo, the place a number of tech corporations, together with Kakao and Naver, are situated. Dears Pangyo has greater than 520 studio flat models in Pangyo.

The outfit additionally will co-manage the Dears Myeongdong constructing in Seoul alongside Xi S&D. Dongnae will handle industrial areas of Dears Myeongdong, consisting of B1, 14F and the rooftop, co-founder and CEO Matthew Shampine mentioned, including that Xi S&D will function Dears Myungdong’s 112 models that provide each short- and long-term stays.

Dongnae says that is its first acquisition. The present management staff at Stevens will be a part of Dongnae to help growth and proceed to construct on their progress to this point, Shampine advised TechCrunch.

“We’re in lively discussions with quite a lot of landlords and land builders to open extra buildings to be operated as and thru Dongnae,” Shampine mentioned.

Former WeWork executives Shampine and Insong Kim co-founded Dongnae in 2020 to digitize South Korea’s fragmented actual property market. In South Korea, individuals must work with dozens of brokers to discover a new residence, and there are two choices to pay hire within the nation: paying a month-to-month price (identical to in lots of elements of the world) and paying every part prematurely, known as Jeonse.

By offering Dongnae’s signature decrease rental deposits on a versatile, short-term foundation, the co-founders need to sort out Jeonse, the nation’s distinctive residential rental system. This system permits tenants to hire an condominium with a big lump sum deposit, which is about 70% of the house valuation, with out paying month-to-month rental charges.

“Since our Sequence A in March of 2022, we’ve got been centered on rising our actual property portfolio, getting buyer suggestions, and constructing the mandatory front- and back-end expertise to really create a greater method to hire houses in Korea,” Shampine mentioned.

The corporate has invested “closely” in enhancing the shopper expertise since final 12 months. The outfit says it has digitized the whole process as a substitute of the everyday lengthy, paper-filed leasing course of and launched its personal digital actual property marketing consultant Suzie by integrating synthetic intelligence into its platform. Like a chatbot, Suzie solutions potential residents’ questions on housing or Dongnae’s models in any spoken language.

“From Adam Neumann’s Flow and firms resembling Mint Home, Zeus Living, and Blueground in America to Asian and European startups like Cove and Habyt — there was nice innovation within the residential rental market all over the world over the previous few years,” Shampine mentioned in an announcement. “Our staff is dedicated to bringing about a greater method to hire right here in Korea.”

Dongnae’s software is now obtainable for obtain on Android and iOS.

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