The Real Deal New York

WeWork rival Convene seeks to raise another $150M, mulls CRE investment fund

Brookfield-backed firm manages common amenities in office towers
By Konrad Putzier | November 02, 2017 05:40PM

1 World Trade Center and Ryan Simonetti

UPDATED, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.: Convene, the office-space startup backed by Brookfield and the Durst Organization is looking to raise another $150 million in venture funding in a Series D round and plans to launch a property investment fund in the future.

The company’s co-founder Ryan Simonetti said the firm already has “verbal commitments” from some existing investors for the Series D round but declined to name them. The firm has raised $119.2 million from investors to-date, most recently in a $68 million Series C round that included Brookfield, Durst, Conversion Venture Capital, ArrowMark Partners and Elysium Capital Management.

Founded in 2009 as Sentry Centers and renamed Convene in 2011, the firm manages meeting rooms and common amenities in office towers. “We’re running a hotel in an office building,” Simonetti said. The firm, which also manages flexible office space, currently has eight locations in New York City, including an event space on the 34th floor of One World Trade Center.

Convene also plans to launch a property investment fund in partnership with a private equity firm, Simonetti said. He claimed the firm has held preliminary talks with potential partners, but no deal is imminent.

“Creating a side fund to buy properties is not on Convene’s near-term roadmap, but something we are thinking about forming in the future,” he said. “It would likely be used to invest alongside our landlord partners, not to be competitive with them.”

Earlier this year, Convene’s competitor WeWork launched a real estate investment fund in partnership with Rhone Group. Last month, the firms announced their first acquisition: the Lord & Taylor flagship store in Midtown.

Correction: Convene rebranded in 2011, not 2013.