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British co-living startup raises $420M for international expansion drive

British co-living property company The Collective is looking to build 4,500 co-living apartments across the U.K., U.S. and Germany, plans that will pit it against $20 billion co-working startup WeWork, Forbes reported, citing an interview with company co-founder Reza Merchant.

According to the report, the expansion will be financed through $420 million of debt and equity. The company plans to initially open three sites each in the U.S. and Germany, but is already bidding on possible future sites, which include another 5,000 apartments, in the same two countries.

The Collective already has a presence in West London with its 550-apartment co-living complex Old Oak. Merchant said the property, which spans 10,000 square feet of communal spaces, is 100% occupied.

A further two U.K. sites at Stratford and Canary Wharf are slated to open their doors by the end of 2019, with the company's international expansion to launch the following year, the publication noted.