Brookfield-backed meeting-space startup Convene raises $20M

NYC-based company looks to expand footprint and range of services

TRD New York /
May.May 20, 2016 04:30 PM

Meeting-space startup Convene is looking to take a page out of WeWork’s playbook, backed by a freshly raised $20 million in venture funding and Brookfield Property Partners’ global heft.

Founded in 2009 as a provider of flexible conference and meeting spaces, the firm is now branching out into a broader range of services geared toward office tenants, its founder Ryan Simonetti told The Real Deal. For example, the firm has begun offering room-service catering, concierge services and fitness classes. In a sense, Convene plans to become to large, corporate office tenants what WeWork is to entrepreneurs and small firms: an all-around office service provider.

On Thursday, the firm announced it had raised $20 million in a Series B extension round headed by Brookfield, bringing its total venture funding to $51.2 million.

“Our strategic investment in Convene will facilitate the swift and widespread rollout of their service platform within our premier office portfolio,” Brookfield chair Ric Clark said in a statement.

Convene plans to use a chunk of the money to expand from 10 to 20 locations. In Manhattan, the firm has leased space at several Class A office buildings – including TIAA-CREF’s 780 Third Avenue and the Durst Organization’s 114 West 47th Street – where it runs meeting and conference centers. On top of this core business, it plans to partner with more office landlords to bring a broader range of services to their buildings. For example, the company runs a fitness studio at 780 Third Avenue. Tenants in the building can also request fitness classes in their own offices.

“What (office landlords) are seeing and hearing from their tenants is about the need to start to think about delivering a different level of service in an office building,” Simonetti said.

His pitch is that large companies competing with Silicon Valley giants like Facebook or Google for top employees are increasingly looking to add amenities to their offices, and that they are more likely to sign leases with landlords that offer those.

“If you think of a full-service hotel with amenities on the lower floors, and replace the hotel rooms with offices, that’s what we’re doing,” Simonetti said.

The Real Deal reported in December that the rise of WeWork, which offers its tenants social events, food and drink, cleaning services and yoga classes, among other things, has pushed some traditional office landlords to consider expanding their services.


Related Article

arrow_forward_ios
Ron Moelis, Ric Clark and 552 Main Street on Roosevelt Island (Credit: Brookfield, L+M, Google Maps)

L+M and Invesco partner to buy 2,800 market-rate apartments

Michael Milstein and 335 Madison Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Milstein finalizing $750M refi at 335 Madison tech hub

Forever 21 is in trouble. So some executives asked its landlords to pitch in, report says

A rendering of Manhasset Square and Aanen Olsen, Vice President of Development at Brookfield Asset Management

This $400M mixed-use project could be coming to Manhasset

A bunch of teenagers are helping develop one of NYC’s hottest neighborhoods

City agency to sign 140K sf lease deal with Brookfield in Downtown Brooklyn

New York’s biggest commercial landlord hit record highs in 2018

Commercial property sales hit near
record-breaking total of $562B last year

arrow_forward_ios