Breather raises $20M in Series B round

Room-rental startup plans to expand in Manhattan

Smith Breather
From left: Julien Smith (credit: Bryant Hill Media) and a Breather room in Manhattan

Breather, a startup offering private spaces as short-term rentals, raised $20 million in Series B funding with plans to expand in Manhattan.

The latest round, led by Valar Ventures, brings its total funding to $28.5 million to date. RRE, Real Ventures, SOS Ventures and Slow Ventures also participated in the round.

Founded in 2012, Breather lists private rooms or offices for rent on an hourly basis. It has around 50 locations in Manhattan listed on its website, making the Big Apple its biggest market ahead of San Francisco. The company offers spaces it has leased and vetted spaces leased by third parties, via a profit-sharing agreement in the vein of Airbnb’s. Broadly, its competitors are short-term office listing sites like ShareDesk and LiquidSpace, which tend to focus more on shared offices.

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“We can safely say we’re going to be expanding in the cities we are in and add some new ones,” Breather’s CEO and co-founder Julien Smith told The Real Deal.

“The way to think about our business is not how many units will be in Manhattan. We think in terms of neighborhoods or buildings,” he added, adding that Breather’s private rooms are used not just by travelers, but also by office workers within the same building looking for a quiet place.