My Lyvly journey: Path to community.
It started with the belief that it is people who make life worth living. Here’s my founding story of Lyvly.
I am so excited, proud and grateful for the incredible work the members and the team have put in to create Lyvly, and even more excited by what is to come.
I set out on this journey back in 2015 with a belief that it is people make life great, not things. I was working hard in finance, and striving to do good things, but I realised that none of it mattered without having people to share it with. Friends to laugh and cry with, to go on adventures around the world with, and to challenge and be challenged by.
Like many hard working professionals in London, I really wanted to meet new people and go adventuring, but there were no platforms out there to do that effectively. Social networks were really just becoming digital marketing platforms, meet up groups really varied in quality, and most of my friends seemed to meet people through Tinder. Not necessarily the best source of long term friendships!
So I got together with Siraj Khaliq and Dario Favoino, the Lyvly co-founders, and we asked the question — what if we could make a meaningful, physical community of people at a similar life stage with shared interests that get together on a regular basis and become a real, genuine support for each other? The members of this community could control what it stands for, what we do, who comes in and more.
We looked around for examples of where this had been done before, and the only obvious version was Soho House. But this was too exclusive, we wanted an inclusive community, open, warm and accepting. Over many evenings, a lot of silly ideas (and some drinks), the first version of the Lyvly members community, charter and membership committee (the governing body of Lyvly) was born.
Coincidentally, at the time, I was building a portfolio of 1,200 properties in London for a private equity group. Working in the residential property market I saw first hand just how isolated young professionals are, living in apartment blocks with little way to make genuine, valuable connections, paying fees left right and centre, and suffering from poor service. It’s clear that the property market was built for landlords and not tenants well being. But why — tenants are the customer?!
It suddenly dawned on us, the best place to create meaningful communities was at home. If we could connect people in shared homes, and then across apartment blocks, and then across local areas, we could really make a significant improvement in people’s lives. Imagine moving into your apartment and being connected in the building to neighbours with similar interests, who can instantly welcome you into an active world.
So we started out by renting properties from landlords for our members to live in. And then, we connected them with other people who lived in the same apartment blocks, who also become members to help build vibrant communities. And this brings us up to now. We are live in several apartment blocks in London, our community is growing rapidly, and we are delighted to be able to make a meaningful difference to the people that choose to be part of the Lyvly movement.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you would like to become part of our movement, please join us. We really do believe that you can Love your neighbour :)
Thanks and love,
CEO and co-founder