Breather CEO Julien Smith is out, just months after startup raised $45M

Smith founded the short-term private rental space in 2012; it has raised nearly $120M in total

Julien Smith (Credit: Bryan Hill Media via inoveryourhead)
Julien Smith (Credit: Bryan Hill Media via inoveryourhead)

The co-founder and CEO of Breather has left the short-term space rental startup just months after it raised $45 million in a funding round, The Real Deal has learned.

Julien Smith, who started the Montreal-based company in 2012 along with Caterina Rizzi, is no longer at the firm, the company confirmed Wednesday. He will stay on as chairman of the board.

“As I reflect on my strengths and consider what it will take for the company to reach its full potential, I realize bringing on an executive with experience scaling a company through the next level of growth is the best thing for the business,” Smith said in a statement.

Breather rents out rooms in commercial properties and offers short-term private space rentals, where individuals and business can book spaces for meetings or as offices.

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During Smith’s tenure, the firm grew to over 500 spaces in 10 cities, including New York, Chicago, London and Toronto and raised nearly $120 million in venture funding.

Its most recent funding round in June raised $45 million from the likes of Menlo Ventures, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, parent company of real estate investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Before he founded Breather, Smith co-wrote a popular book about digital influencers called “Trust Agents.”


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