Hivenue Founder Nassim Bahloul, on Co-Living Community Building
Nassim Bahloulis the Founder of Hivenue, a Montreal Founder Institute portfolio community co-living marketplace to book private, furnished rooms in all-equipped shared-space apartments, and with like-minded roommates. Hivenue users can flexibly schedule a stay for a month, a year or longer, and find great rooms with friendly roommates, in Montreal's most popular neighborhoods.
While most are familiar with co-working, co-living is a bit less well known—as Hivenue founder Nassim Bahloul explains, the concept of sharing some communal living spaces with other roommates has many advantages, particularly for students, young professionals, immigrants and others moving to a new city for work. From ease of building personal community, to living a more sustainable lifestyle, co-living has many benefits and rewards—and Hivenue is the platform bringing the co-living community together in Montreal.
Watch the full interview with Hivenue founder Nassim Bahloul here, or read some of the highlights below:
Key Founder Insights:
Definition of Co-Living, and the challenges as well as biggest opportunities for co-living in today's housing market
Co-Living community constituents in Montreal and beyond: who chooses co-living, and the advantages of it, from networking to sustainability
Hivenue platform and its features, including AI-powered algorithmic matching of roommates and ideal neighborhoods, based on users preferences and profiles; and a vetting system for hosts that protects guests' privacy
Nassim Bahloul's predictions for the future of co-living, its role in bigger and more sustainable cities of the future, and its role in providing meaningful connection to others
Hivenue founder Nassim Bahloul explains how, as a French immigrant to Montreal, he experienced firsthand the problem he is now working to solve in his business, identifying the need for co-living solutions especially for people like himself,
I'm originally from France, born and raised—I arrived in Montreal 14 years ago as a newcomer, to do my studies at the university of Montreal—then I worked as a software designer and a UX designer. But when I arrived in Montreal, I didn't know anyone—I had no job, I had no reference, no friends, nothing—so I hopped from one hostel to another, and had to stay in different districts, moving like every 3 months; and I even did some couch surfing with some people I later met—but from my own experience, I realized that there was a gap in the market to facilitate the arrival of newcomers.
In addition to its algorithmic roommate and neighborhood matching, Hivenue's solution for the co-living community—beginning first in Montreal, but with plans to expand to new cities soon—provides a platform to address both the 'host' and 'guest' needs. For guests, the primary need is a living space for medium to long term stays, that they can book often from abroad; while for hosts, the primary need is to be able to vet the guests, who often have no in-country references or job offers yet. He notes,
Almost 80 percent of our users are newcomers or people from abroad—either international student, or young workers—and for them basically there is no easy way to book a living space from abroad, or an apartment sharing—they have no way to to know their next roommates. And, their future host is never sure to get they'll get their rent on time, as they have no reference, and have no job—so it's pretty difficult for them to be trusted by a host.
In addition to the inherent sustainability in sharing communal spaces and home gadgets like kitchen appliance with roommates, founder Nassim Bahloul also emphasizes the meaningful community building aspect of co-living arrangements—he predicts that coming out of the pandemic, this desire to build friendships and personal networks will be even stronger than before, saying,
Since covid, people are valuing human connection more than ever—so young people want to reconnect with one another, and find ways to save money; while older people are looking for companions, because maybe they are feeling lonely.
As the world adjusts to the 'new normal' and looks towards the future, this prediction about the growing need for co-living community in building greater interpersonal connections resonates strongly. The advantages in moving into a brand new place, but one that already has a built-in network inherent in its design, are enormous—and founders like Hivenue's Nassim Bahloul are building the tech to enable that transformation.
If you're interested in co-living arrangements in Montreal, or simply want to learn more about the platform and co-living community, visit Hivenue's website at Hivenue.ca