GorillaSpace, the Singapore-based online marketplace for workspace, announced that it has raised an undisclosed seed round of investment led by top Japanese real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. (MEC), with additional participation from a consortium of investors, including Silversea Media Group, a leading immersive media solution provider in Asia.
This investment from MEC marks the first proptech investment outside of Japan, as well as the first seed level investment for the property giant. 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) to this purpose, of which the GorillaSpace investment is part.
"We believe in the founders who have deep commercial real estate experience and technical capabilities. GorillaSpace represents a fresh and exciting way to showcase office spaces and help businesses find workspaces more efficiently," said Kyota Kobayashi, the General Manager of MEC's Business Creation Department.
Founded in 2018 by Ben and Ginny Eckblad, GorillaSpace empowers businesses to more easily find and lease office space, coworking spaces and serviced offices. The platform is 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" that is gaining increasing attention in corporate real estate circles.
Key advantages of the platform include:
- Verified Listings
Workspaces offered on the platform are verified in-person by a dedicated team to protect users from wrong information about space's price, area and availability, as well as fraudulent advertisers.
- 360° Panoramas, Videos, 3D/VR Virtual Tours & High-Definition Images
Users can experience each workspace through high definition images, 360° panoramas, videos
and 3D virtual tours, enabling faster selection of spaces before making the physical visits.
- Smart Recommendation Engine
Unlike other workspace platforms that depend solely on search, GorillaSpace also offers a personalized and curated smart recommendation engine to quickly match businesses with the right workspace for their needs. Using this solution, businesses can reduce up to 75 hours of their search time.
"With the support of our strategic investors, we are able to accelerate the reach and scope of our online marketplace always with the single focus to delight our users," said Ben Eckblad, Founder and CEO of GorillaSpace. "The commercial property market is experiencing a shift from multi-year office space leases to more flexible options. 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 four months of 2019, GorillaSpace has helped over 1,000 businesses find solutions to their workspace needs. Since the end of 2018, GorillaSpace has seen a 21.5% month-on-month growth in traffic to the website, as well as a growth of over 30% in listings on the platform.
Chang HuanJian, from Funding Societies, found their workspace through GorillaSpace and commented: "The space we found was just like the photos and 360° panoramas shown online. I was able to communicate the shortlisted options with our co-founders. This service really saved us a lot of time and helped decision making."