Breather raises $40M, plots NYC expansion

Series C round brings total funding to $73M

Julien Smith and a Breather space
Julien Smith and a Breather space

Short-term private space rental company Breather raised $40 million in a Series C funding round, with plans to expand its presence in New York City.

The new round, reported on Wednesday, brings Breather’s total venture funding to $73 million.

Breather’s CEO Julien Smith told TRD that the company currently operates around 150 spaces in New York City, and that adding another 300 over the coming year is “realistic.” Although Breather is based in Montreal, New York currently accounts for about half its spaces. The company rents rooms in commercial buildings, furnishes them with tables, chairs and couches, and rents them out for as short as 30 minutes to anyone in need of a temporary office or meeting room.

Menlo Ventures led the Series C round. It also included Valar Ventures (which led the firm’s Series B), RRE Ventures, Slow Ventures and Real Ventures. The firm had previously raised $20 million in its Series B round in September 2015.  Smith wouldn’t disclose the firm’s latest valuation, but claimed it is “substantially higher” than the $100 million valuation achieved in the Series B round. TechCrunch first reported the funding round.

As it grows, the company has been adding new types of spaces.

“At the beginning, we were in Class B buildings at best, now we work with Class A landlords and the size of spaces is also higher,” Smith said.

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At 31 West 26th Street, for example, Breather runs a meeting room that covers an entire floor, or 2,425 square feet, according to Reonomy.

Smith also said that thanks to its growing number of spaces, the firm now counts major companies like Pandora, Spotify, Anheuser-Busch, Apple, Uber, Google and Facebook among its customers.

“Breather has tapped into a real need in the workplace. There hasn’t been a company of its kind offering spaces on-demand,” Menlo Ventures’ Venky Ganesan, who joined Breather’s board, said in a statement.

In 2016, the firm expanded to Toronto, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

Breather may share the short-term rental field with WeWork, but Smith stressed that he doesn’t see the two firms as competitors.

“They’re a replacement for your office,” he said. “When you’re using our service, it’s really just buffer space.”