When we co-founded Convene in 2009, we set out with a very ambitious vision to change the way the world works.
Today, we’re proud to announce that we are one step closer towards achieving that. By partnering with some of some of the world’s largest investors and landlord partners, including ArrowMark Partners, Brookfield Property Group, Conversion Venture Capital, The Durst Organization, and Elysium Management, we’ve been able to secure a $68M round of Series C funding to accelerate the growth of our business.
Take note: We are in the first inning of a major shift in the commercial real estate industry.
Almost every traditional industry has been disrupted by new business models, and commercial real estate is next. Technology has forever changed the way we work, but the physical environments in which we work hasn’t changed much at all in the last 50 years.
Millennials, who have spearheaded the mass adoption of workforce mobility, will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020. They value choice, flexibility, and experience at work above all else.
The best minds in architecture, design, commercial real estate, human resources and technology are tackling the challenge of what the next generation of the workplace should be, and the unique experiences it should offer.
The pressure on commercial landlords is also building. Most companies cannot afford to spend $5 billion to build spaceship-like headquarters, and are starting to look towards commercial landlords to provide premium amenities and on-demand hospitality services for their employees. Lease terms have been halving every five years, and the rise of more flexible co-working options for tenants mean that landlords need to become more agile in serving the sharing economy. JLL estimates that 30% of commercial real estate is expected to be flexible space by 2025.
That’s why our vision for a better workplace starts by partnering with the landlord. We know that it’s highly feasible (at scale) to share premium meeting rooms, workspaces, coffee shops, chefs, personal trainers, concierge support, and technology infrastructure among a close-knit community of office building tenants and their employees. The opportunity for a building to become Convene-enabled means that physical workplaces and hospitality-driven staff and services can now become interconnected through user-friendly mobile technology.
Our new funding will help us address these changing industry preferences and transform the workplace experience in three ways:
Expanding our Convene Retail footprint: Our branded network of on-demand, full-service meeting, conference, and event venues for enterprise clients – what we are best known for – will continue to expand nationally into major cities but will evolve to also offer on-demand and permanent workspaces for companies and enterprise teams between 5-75 people.
Growing our new Convene Services business: Our latest offering, which is already powering iconic buildings like One World Trade Center and Park Avenue Tower – aims to bring the full-service, “lifestyle” hotel experience into office buildings by offering tenants and their employees Silicon Valley-inspired amenities and five-star hospitality services on-demand.
Launching a mobile technology platform: We’re also developing a cloud-based, mobile “smart-building” app that will seamlessly connect building tenants to an ecosystem of on-demand spaces, amenities and services.
Looking back, it is humbling to see how far we’ve come in the past eight years. We are extremely grateful to work alongside amazing people at Convene whose GRIT and persistence have made all this possible. Their undeniable passion for serving our customers and their commitment to getting 1% better every day has allowed us to achieve industry-best NPS scores, open 15 iconic properties in four cities, and call 70% of the nation’s largest companies our clients.
We want to thank our countless partners, investors, and clients who have believed in us from the start. It feels like just yesterday that we were a couple of 27 year-old entrepreneurs with a big, audacious dream and a brand-new company that would change our lives forever. We couldn’t have done it without every single one of you. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Ryan and Chris
For the official Convene Series C press release and more information about how we fit into Brookfield Property Group’s global placemaking strategy, go here.