DAVID TEO’S APRICOT CAPITAL LEADS FUNDING ROUND FOR SINGAPORE CO-LIVING OPERATOR

June 26, 2024

MINGTIANDI

Singapore’s The Assembly Place has raised S$5.33 million ($3.9 million) from a pre-Series A funding exercise anchored by Apricot Capital, surpassing the co-living owner-operator’s S$5 million target.

The fresh funds will fuel TAP’s growth as it seeks to increase its current 1,800 keys to over 5,000 by the end of 2025, the company said Wednesday in a release. The campaign ran for six weeks from April and marked TAP’s second major fundraising effort since its 2019 founding.

TAP has also worked recently with Apricot Capital, the family office of instant coffee king David Teo, on projects including a Singapore student housing venture and a mall conversion in the city-state’s upscale Bukit Timah area.

“The team at TAP has demonstrated outstanding capabilities and resourcefulness, quickly building themselves to be one of the largest co-living operators,” said Apricot Capital managing partner Darren Teo, who led the fundraising drive. “We believe and have the utmost confidence in their expansion, both in Singapore and regionally.”

Here to Stay

The latest cash infusion will go towards purchasing new assets and supporting development of existing projects, according to TAP. The company recently acquired the first co-living hotel it manages, a boutique property at 9 Jalan Besar, in a joint investment with Apricot Capital.

TAP also plans to launch lodging for health professionals at 1A Short Street in Rochor district next month as part of TSTAP, a joint venture of TAP and TS Group, which operates accommodation for foreign workers and the elderly. Two other sites under TSTAP, at 36 & 38 Teck Whye Crescent and 107 Circuit Road, are to begin operations in the first quarter of 2025.

TAP founder and CEO Eugene Lim said co-living has found its place alongside traditional housing options in Singapore, especially for the younger generation of expatriates.

“It is evident that the market and investors believe it is here to stay,” Lim said. “More than just the living spaces, being involved in a robust community of like-minded people is a key factor for tenants choosing TAP as their accommodation provider.”

In addition to Apricot Capital, investors in the pre-Series A round included Cache Capital, owned by Loi Pok Yen; KM7 Capital, managed by directors Kelvin and Melvin Ng; and Darrell Lim, director at Bright Point Capital. TAP had raised S$5.55 million from a 2021 seed funding round led by chairman Eric Low, who is also executive director and deputy CEO of Oxley Holdings.

Fruitful Partnership

Founded in 2017 after the Teo family sold its Super coffee brand to a Dutch firm for $1 billion, Apricot Capital earlier this year acquired the Serene Centre shopping and apartment complex at the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Farrer Road for S$105 million alongside an undisclosed equity partner.

TAP serves as asset manager of the property, whose 10 upper-level apartments are being converted to 86 serviced rooms. Work began in April and is scheduled to conclude in the first quarter of 2025.

The two companies have cooperated on at least four residential projects, including TAP’s Campus by The Assembly Place flagship location launched last October. The student housing complex in eastern Singapore’s District 15 offers 426 accommodation pods and shared facilities.

TAP also operates Apricot-invested co-living facilities at 257 Outram Road in the Tiong Bahru area and at 138-140 Jalan Besar in the Rochor area, both of which opened in 2022.