Office marketplace GorillaSpace bags seed funding led by Japan's Mitsubishi Estate

Office marketplace GorillaSpace bags seed funding led by Japan's Mitsubishi Estate

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3 -min read
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WORKSPACE market platform GorillaSpace has clinched an undisclosed amount from a seed funding round led by Japanese real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate Co (MEC) as it looks to triple its listings and expand geographically.

Other investors included Singapore-based interactive media company Silversea Media Group.

GorillaSpace founder and chief executive Ben Eckblad said that the company will use the proceeds to bolster its team, and to continue investing in building its product.

"Following our seed raise, our focus will be on growth," Mr Eckblad said. "By that, we mean that we will boost partnerships with local brokers, institutional landlords and flexible space operators with the aim to triple the number of high-quality verified listings we can offer our users. On the back of our strong partnerships, we will expand into a select few markets in the region."

The funding comes one year after the startup’s graduation from Propell Asia in November 2018, a proptech accelerator programme run by JLL and Lendlease.

The investment marks MEC’s first proptech investment outside Japan and is also the developer’s first seed-round investment. The investment from MEC is part of their initiative to discover new business projects and to develop synergy with existing businesses. MEC has already committed 10 billion yen (US$100 million), including the investment in GorillaSpace.

GorillaSpace touts itself as the first property marketplace to offer both long-term office spaces and flexible workspace options, as well as a hybrid of the two categories – the so-called "Core and Flex" model that is gaining increasing attention in corporate real estate circles. GorillaSpace offers office spaces, co-working spaces and serviced offices on its platform.

"The commercial property market is experiencing a shift from multi-year office space leases to more flexible options," Mr Eckblad said in a statement. "Businesses want less commitment upfront and GorillaSpace helps them see all available options. Businesses now have the choice of combining a long-term lease together with flexible space to house specialised teams or temporary additional headcount."

In the first quarter of 2019, 1,000 businesses were able to find a workspace through the startup's online platform. Since the end of 2018, GorillaSpace has seen 21.5 per cent month-on-month growth in traffic to the website and growth of over 30 per cent in listings on the platform.