DealmakingM&A / FundingProptechReal Estate Tech

Valve raises $4.5M to build B2B flex space infrastructure

Company says it will use funding to "turbocharge" North American expansion and build API integrations

Valve, a global industry system for flexible workspaces, today announced raising a $4.5 million seed funding round led by Project A, according to a press release shared with FinLedger.

The capital also included participation from Discovery Ventures, and is intended to fund product development and accelerate Valve’s expansion across North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

Valve says that due to the ongoing adoption and demand of flexible workspaces, accelerated in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of players in the industry is on the rise.

It sited a recent study by JLL, which found the flexible workspace market is expected to grow from a $30 billion market value to $300 billion by 2030, making it the fastest growing segment of commercial real estate.

Valve says despite a large expected rise in supply and due to challenges on both sides of the equation, with operators struggling to lease space efficiently and brokers lacking digital access to inventory, data and content, it aims to set a new industry standard by creating infrastructure to connect the two sides.

“We’re the fundamental infrastructure business that is connecting all of that new supply with the thousands of brokers and online platforms that are selling that space to their customers,” Francesco DeCamilli, GM of Valve USA, told FinLedger.

We’re interconnecting the B2B-side landlord operators with increasingly more space, 100 million square feet [of flex space] to 30 billion over the next 10 years, to every possible reseller of that space. From the brokerages to online brokers to booking platforms, we are those B2B pipes. The rails, the APIs if you will, that are interconnecting those two sides to make that market,” DeCamilli said.

Valve says it accomplishes this by providing commercial real estate (CRE) brokers with sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure, in order to connect them with businesses in need of flexible workspaces.

Founded in London in 2019, the company already partners with a number of large commercial brokers, including JLL, CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield, and currently operates across 10,000 buildings in 250 cities.

In addition to a key focus on “turbocharging” its presence and growth in the North American market, DeCamilli also says the company plans to use funding to lead development of its integration technology.

“The second point is really around product and technology investment. We want to build APIs that enable any third-party platform to seamlessly book offices online and have a confirmed booking. Today, the same way you book a ticket on Expedia, and you know it’s confirmed and you could show up at the airport. We are building the same technology to enable the next generation of booking “dot coms” for workspaces,” DeCamilli said.

“I just want to be clear, we’re not B2C, right? We aren’t going to build the Expedia for workspaces. We aren’t going to build the Kayak for co-working. We’re powering those platforms, to enable them to exist and to flourish in this new world,” he added.

In other recent proptech news, Lisa Picard joined Sway Ventures as partner following time as CEO of EQ Office. Palladius also announced it is seeking $300 million in real estate debt investments, following a $15 million Series A in March.

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