- Hubble, the London-based online platform for flexible office space, has secured £4 million in Series A financing
- The backing comes from a group of industry-leading investors, spearheaded by JLL Spark Global Venture Fund
- The investment is JLL Spark Global Venture Fund’s first in Europe and takes Hubble’s total investment so far to £6.4m
Hubble, the London headquartered platform was founded in 2014 and is now one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, placing a business in a new office every three hours. It lists over 5,000 offices on its website, covering the whole flexible office market, and the latest investment takes its fundraising total to £6.4 million over three funding rounds.
This marks the first European investment for JLL Spark, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital arm of JLL. Other investors include Downing Ventures and the Directors of M7 Real Estate (owners of commercial property management and data software Coyote). Starwood Capital (via proptech fund Concrete), an existing investor, also increased its stake significantly.
Hubble has previously been backed by some of the biggest names in the UK tech scene, including former Dragon (BBC Dragon’s Den) James Caan, Streetcar (now Zipcar) Founder Brett Akker and counts former technology advisor to the Prime Minister Rohan Silva as Co-founder.
The fresh round of funding will be used to invest further into Hubble’s technology platform, evolving its proposition to attract medium-sized businesses (of 50 people or more) as demand for flexible office space from larger businesses soars. The company already owns London’s largest real-time dataset on flexible office space, and will invest further in its data infrastructure and tooling to help flexible office providers such as WeWork improve their offerings.
Hubble’s ultimate ambition is to be the “Booking.com” for flexible office space worldwide.
Hubble is at the centre of the largest revolution in commercial real estate this century, with 30% of corporate portfolios expected to be flexible office space by 2030, according to JLL.
In London, flexible office space has increased from 0.5% of total office space to 5% in just five years and has been labelled ‘the new hotel sector’ given the requirement for rapidly growing and shrinking SMEs to access office space they can move into immediately. Hubble’s cutting-edge technology allows clients to search and compare across an increasingly large and fragmented market.
Hubble works with large providers such as WeWork and IWG, over 500 independent providers, and has helped growing businesses such as Funding Circle sublet an entire floor. It has grown rapidly over the past year, tripling its revenues, placing a business into a new office every three hours and has worked with clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, Monzo Bank and Trussle – from needing one desk as a freelancer to 250 desks for a growing business.
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Tushar Agarwal, CEO and co-founder of Hubble, said: “Since launching four years ago, we’ve built an unrivalled technology platform that addresses the overwhelming need for finding and renting flexible office space, easily. When we started, our average client was a five person startup needing desks in a co-working space for a few months. Now, we are frequently helping businesses with 50 staff or large multinationals renting space for a year or more.
“The traditional lease market with its 10 year terms and significant upfront costs is no longer fit for purpose. Businesses want to be able to move in, or out, of an office in a matter of days and we’re able to help them do that.
“The fact that some of the world’s most renowned real estate companies have partnered with us in this funding round is testament to the strength of our offering. We’re looking forward to working with them to achieve our ambition of being the world’s largest platform for flexible office space.”
To support its growth trajectory, Hubble has launched its biggest recruitment drive so far, hiring one new team member a week over the past 15 weeks The technology team doubled in size, with software developers, product managers and data scientists all joining. The property advisory team has been boosted by the appointment of Mark Lewarne, a former entrepreneur and IWG Director who created Ministry of Sound’s members club, The Ministry. Holly Hardy and Freddie Cousens have also joined from GL Hearn and Colliers respectively.
Mihir Shah, Co-CEO at JLL Spark, commented: “We continue to see an increase in demand for flexible office space, and Hubble’s technology platform does a great job streamlining the process of connecting a wide array of businesses with the right space for them. We are excited to help the Hubble team scale their platform with JLL’s global reach and expertise.”
Michael Tefula, Associate at Downing Ventures, commented: “Hubble brings us closer to what we believe is the future of property. The platform helps all manner of businesses looking for office space to adapt and thrive as their needs change. We are therefore excited to partner with the exceptional team at Hubble, who are already making a positive difference to the entrepreneurial economy.”
Taylor Westcoatt, Partner at Concrete, commented: “We have backed Hubble over 2 rounds of funding and seen the business go from strength to strength. As the flexible office market starts to resemble the hotel market, we firmly believe in Hubble’s vision of becoming the booking.com for this sector.”