Betting on a Return to Offices, HelloOffice Raises $20M Series A
Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks. Follow him on Twitter.
Predictions of a working lifetime spent on Zoom meetings in yoga pants and not commuting to the office may be premature, at least according to HelloOffice and its investors. Wednesday the company announced a $20 million Series A round of financing to fund the growth of the technology-powered commercial real estate brokerage.
Justin Bedecarre is the CEO of HelloOffice.
The company, which started in San Francisco in 2016 and expanded to Los Angeles last year, has raised a total of $27 million and now plans to expand to other markets. It's betting tech startups will still want to rent office space and that offices will need to be bigger, partly because workers will need to be more spread out and workplace will be more focused on gathering people together, rather than merely seating them behind desks.
"Offices are really going to be built around what they're meant to be built around, which is collaboration," said Justin Bedecarre, CEO of HelloOffice. "In the short term, square footage per person is going to go way up."
Point 72 Ventures led the investment round with participation from existing investors Initialized Capital, Founders Fund, SaaStr, House Fund, and Jake Gibson.
"We are focused on creating new product offerings to help companies find their optimal workplace solution and, in many cases, work with companies transitioning to hybrid workplaces," Bedecarre said.
Nearly half of employees would like to keep working from home and more than 45% say their employers are actively considering or at least open to that option, according to an April survey of more than 1200 workers by getAbstract, an online business library. But many jobs cannot be entirely done at home. A recent study by the University of Chicago found only a third of work could be remote, though many have been surprised at how productive remote workers have been during the pandemic.
"Everybody's getting used to the work at home," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in April. "In some areas of the company people may be even more productive, in some other areas they're not as productive. So it's mixed, depending upon what the roles are."
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