Betting on a Return to Offices, HelloOffice Raises $20M Series A

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. 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.

Betting on a Return to Offices, HelloOffice Raises $20M Series A

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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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Behind Her Empire: AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy On Redefining Success and Embracing Identity

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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