Campus, a startup that rented out rooms in some 34 houses in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, is no more — meaning its more than 150 residents need to find somewhere else to live before the official closure on August 31st.
The startup, co-founded in 2013 by Tom Currier — a Thiel Fellow, given $US100,000 by famed venture capitalist Peter Thiel to drop out of Stanford — basically acted as a property management company, renting rooms in the houses it managed for a monthly cost of $US1,000 to $US2,200.
“Despite continued attempts to alter the company’s current business model and explore alternative ones, we were unable to make Campus into an economically viable business,” writes Currier in the farewell message that replaces the main Campus homepage as of this afternoon.
Campus’ whole pitch was that it fostered real-life connections between people in a planned community.
The Campus homes themselves were in fashionable neighbourhoods, like San Francisco’s Mission District and New York’s Flatiron District. The homes would get regular cleaning from professional services, plus they offered amenities like hot tubs and access to Campus-managed vacation homes in California’s wine country. It even stocked the kitchen with basics for residents.
That concept made it popular among people (especially tech industry workers) who were new to the city, and Campus would often throw barbecues and mixers for residents of its properties — properties that will go back onto the crowded San Francisco and New York City rental markets once they’re vacated, according to an email sent to Campus residents and obtained by SFist.
“We realise this may be shocking news, and how stressful this situation will be for many of you. We will do anything we can to make the moving process smooth,” writes Currier in that email.
According to that email, Campus will cease all community events, professional cleaning, and stocking the kitchen for residents as it puts its remaining cash towards paying the rent.