Expanding the Concept of Co-living, Contented Living Creates a Diverse and Inclusive Living Environment for Overseas Talent

With increasing numbers of overseas students and specialists seeking opportunities in Hong Kong in recent years, the concept of “co-living spaces” has really taken off. Contented Living, founded by three CUHK alumni in 2012, provides accommodation services for students, employees, and short-term visitors coming to Hong Kong. We interviewed co-founder and Managing Director Ms. Venny Chan in one of their rental apartments. She explained that she was a marketing consultant prior to starting Contented Living. Initially, due to a lack of experience and staff, the full workload for the company fell squarely on her shoulders. As they accumulated more experience, their rental business started to pick up with significant demand for housing from growing numbers of international students. The rental apartment where we conducted the interview is fully furnished with elegant decorations and warm lighting which create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.

Creating Diverse and Inclusive Living Spaces

With the owner’s approval, Contented Living renovates old buildings, transforming them into cozy, modern living spaces. From providing off-campus dormitories for foreign students on a small scale in the beginning, Content Living has evolved to successfully refurbish ten old buildings for short and long-term rentals. Applicants are mostly young with limited social experience and unfamiliar with the city, on a tight rental budget. According to Ms. Chan, they choose roommates with similar backgrounds based on gender, nationality, university, subject they are majoring in, and occupation. Rent levels range from just HK$3,000-9,000 depending on room type with the majority of student tenants on a very low budget.

As most tenants are expatriates living alone, Contented Living not only plays the role of the landlord in providing comfortable living spaces but also cares for their health and mental well-being. Said Ms. Chan, “We regularly organize activities such as festival gatherings, recruitment talks, and hiking to bring tenants closer together so they can share some fun. These events help ease any emotional problems with many of them feeling lonely from living by themselves in Hong Kong. Most properties under our management are located in urban centers with convenient transport links and good shopping. Contented Living’s ‘co-living space’ concept, which offers convenience and cultural integration, has encouraged some student tenants to stay on in Hong Kong after graduating to seek work opportunities.”

After Riding Out the Pandemic We Expect to Attract More Young Talents

With the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, prolonged lockdowns and rapidly changing quarantine measures led to a drop in tenants and loss of talent. According to Ms. Chan, “Our staff must be able to quickly respond to any market or policy changes. Fortunately, the company has maintained stable operations despite the unpredictable business environment. During the worst periods of the pandemic, some of our tenants were frontline health workers. We immediately offered them rent concessions knowing how hard they were working so could live near the hospitals and avoid a long drive home giving them more time to rest.”

Currently partnering with six Hong Kong tertiary institutions, Contented Living is now their approved off-campus dormitory supplier. Representatives from these institutions regularly visit students to ensure they are living in comfortable and secure surroundings. The Hong Kong government is implementing its “Competing for Talents” policy to attract overseas talents to the city, Ms. Chan believes that providing affordable rents, and comfortable, well-equipped living environments will help attract more specialized talents to study in Hong Kong.

Revitalizing Old Downtown Buildings to Benefit both Tenants and Landlords 

Contented Living is currently financially stable and resilient. The occupancy rate remained at nearly 90% during the dark days of Covid rising to 100% when quarantine measures were relaxed. Rents were downwardly adjusted when the epidemic was at its most severe with the company offering tenants a two-month rent-free period. While pursuing profitability, Contented Living aims to make its business more sustainable and create social benefits. All apartments are renovated from old buildings in urban areas that have been vacant for more than three years or are in a high level of disrepair. This not only increases the housing supply in the rental market but also brings considerable rental returns to landlords. The company plans to install solar panels on the rooftops of some of its buildings to generate clean energy. To reduce waste, the average life span of furniture in the apartments is 3-5 years. In addition, the company has collaborated with an Australian sleep solution provider to provide tenants with mattresses made from all-natural and fully-recyclable materials.

Partnering with SIP to Create Even Greater Social Impact

Social Impact Partners (“SIP”) became the official investment partner of Contented Living in October 2022. As well as providing financial support, SIP leverages its resources to provide due diligence, financial oversight, public relations, legal aid, and support in other fields. The SIP team recognizes Contented Living’s vision, business model, development prospects, and the positive feedback it receives from tenants. They are confident that the venture will become increasingly profitable and create an even greater social impact by helping more people who are struggling to find the affordable rented property.

SIP continues to identify social enterprises in Hong Kong that have the potential for growth and positive social impact, and to enlarge social influence together driven by the concept of co-prosperity. SIP’s board of directors and members of the strategy team come from all over the world and from all walks of life. They can therefore bring different perspectives to investment decisions, formulate business growth strategies and provide guidance to portfolio companies. 2023 will mark the beginning of a business revitalization for companies after the epidemic. With more countries reopening their borders, cross-border traffic is expected to surge and business enterprises may achieve development breakthroughs. Focusing on growth strategies and companies with the potential to generate a positive social impact, SIP expects to further expand its portfolio of partners.

Contented Living Marks 10th Anniversary by Securing Financing from Two Social Impact Funds to Expand in Co-living Sector

With the Government announcing the expansion of the Youth Hostel Scheme in the Policy Address issued in October, and encouraging hotels and non-governmental organizations to convert into youth hostels and providing living subsidy to eligible youths in Hong Kong, attention is increasing on the prospect of co-living sector as a solution for easing the unmet housing demands in Hong Kong. 

Established in 2012, Contented Living aims at providing comfortable yet affordable co-living spaces for university students. By revitalising the squandered space of vacant or run-down old buildings in urban area and turning them into a stylish co-living accommodation, Contented Living is now offering 500 plus bed spaces for young professionals and oversea students in the past 10 years. Unlike most co-living projects in Hong Kong, Contented Living supplies a diversified portfolio of accommodation options. There are typical rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and also single and shared rooms with shared bathrooms. All residents can enjoy a common living room, kitchen and other amenities. Such co-living arrangement helps reduce the rental cost substantially to around HK$3700 to HK$6200/ month per person and  thus exemplify the core values of co-living.

Venny Chan, the Co-founder and Executive Director of Contented Living

“At first we were positioning as student dormitories for overseas students, hoping to make their lives easier during their stay in Hong Kong,” recalled Venny Chan, the Co-founder and Executive Director of Contented Living. “It was not until the business was run for a while that we found an increasing demand for housing by expats and local youths, so we started repositioning our student dorms into co-living spaces to cater the needs of the younger generation with different backgrounds. We hope our guests here could meet new friends and diversify their social network; alongside have greater incentive to settle down here in Hong Kong.”

Contented Living has recently secured Series A fund raising from two social impact funds, Social Impact Partner and Gravity Capital Partners. The funding will be used to accelerate Contented Living’s growth in the local co-living sector. The unique company vision of Contented Living as providing affordable youth housing through revitalising the idle accommodation resources is believed to be bringing tremendous positive impacts to the environment, society, and economy in Hong Kong. 

Turning Hong Kong into a more liveable place

Social Impact Partners (SIP) is a Hong Kong-based venture philanthropy firm, aiming to help growth-stage social purpose organisations to develop the sustainability and scalability that needed to achieve organisational maturity. SIP sees the huge potential environmental and social impacts in Contented Living. “With its professional co-living management, Contented Living could help relieving the acute housing problems in Hong Kong.” commented Lillian Li,  the Executive Director of SIP. “The business model of Contented Living also aligns with our advocacy for environmental protection and business sustainability, for example, its management service could help extend the life of furniture and large electrical appliances to 5 years or more. This practice, though sounds small, can certainly promote a greener lifestyle.”

SIP Executive Director Lillian Li explained the reasons behind the investment decision.

Retaining talents in Hong Kong 

The venture capital tech-based fund Gravity Capital Partners (Gravity) also specialises in steering investment for bringing positive impacts to society and the environment. Dr. Alan Lam, Managing Partner & CTO of Gravity added, “There are more overseas students coming to Hong Kong in recent years. By helping them to settle down and establishing their own social network within a co-living environment, it would be a motivation for those young professionals to stay and develop their career in Hong Kong. I believe the service provided by Contented Living would have great long-term impact in retaining talents in Hong Kong.”

Gravity Managing Partner & CTO Alan Lam also recognized the positive long-term impact to the society brough by Contented Living.

As planned by Venny, Contented Living will utilitize the funding to upgrade the booking platform and property management app so as to enhance the efficiency and promote smart management service. Additionally,  more new co-living projects would be launched in the coming year.

Please contact our marketing team for more information and photos.

Contented Living Group Holding Limited (“CLGH”) issues HK$1.5 Million Convertible Bonds to Gravity Capital Partners Company Limited’s Related Entity (“GCP”)

Contented Living Group Holding Limited (“CLGH”) issues HK$1.5 Million Convertible Bonds to Gravity Capital Partners Company Limited’s Related Entity (“GCP”)

On 10 November 2022, Contented Living Group Holding Limited (“CLGH”) entered into the Subscription Agreement with Gravity Capital Partners Company Limited’s related entity (“GCP”), pursuant to which GCP has conditionally agreed to subscribe for and CLGH has conditionally agreed to issue the Convertible Bonds in the aggregate principal amount of HK$1,500,000, subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Subscription Agreement.

CLGH management believes that the bond will further strengthen the working capital of the company, in order to expand the company’s portfolio of affordable housing for youth in Hong Kong. In addition to the financial support, the board also values GCP as a strategic investor for its possession of an extensive business network and the vision of impact investment in youth empowerment. 

The board considers that the terms and conditions of the Subscription Agreement and the Bond Instrument are fair and reasonable, on normal commercial terms and in the interests of the company and its shareholders as a whole.

It was an honour to attend the SIP Stakeholders Gathering

It was an honour to attend the SIP Stakeholders Gathering on 4th November. Our Founder and Managing Director, Miss Venny Chan, was thrilled to be given an opportunity to share her valuable experiences about Contented Living. It was also a pleasure to meet and connect with many prestigious business owners and exchange our knowledge in different aspects. Thank you Social Impact Partners Limited, we had a wonderful time!

Celebration of a Great News in Contented Living! We have a New Investor Social Impact Partners Limited !


Hong Kong, 3 October 2022 – Social Impact Partners (“SIP”) announces its investment of a HK$1.5 million loan to Contented Living Limited (“CLL”), a company providing affordable housing in Hong Kong.

Contented Living Limited is a co-living accommodation provider since 2012, serving nonlocal university students and young professionals who face budget concerns in the high residential rental cost in Hong Kong. By re-utilized the wasted space of vacant or run-down old buildings, CLL helped to increase the housing supply, and provide safe and affordable space for youths. With CLL’s professional management, they can extend the life of furniture and large electrical appliances to 5 years or more. CLL has built a reputation over the years and it is a listed accommodation supplier of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Other than master leasing vacant buildings and renting to youth, CLL also provides property and leasing management services. Currently, CLL is managing student accommodation for Metropolitan University.

With support from SIP, CLL plans to increase the number of buildings and beds so that more youth could be benefited.

Special thanks to Charltons, Egon Zehnder, and PwC, who helped to prepare comprehensive due diligence which helped support our investment decision.