VTS to buy office-app developer for $200M

Lane Technologies deal follows $100M acquisition of Rise earlier this year

VTS CEO Nick Romito and Lane Technologies CEO Clinton Robinson 
VTS CEO Nick Romito and Lane Technologies CEO Clinton Robinson

Proptech unicorn VTS remains committed to the revival of office life, set to make another big acquisition in the office app space.

The New York-based software and data firm is set to acquire Toronto-based Lane Technologies for $200 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. With the deal, the company is set to combine Lane and VTS Rise into the world’s largest office-app firm.

The deal marks one of the largest in the history of the proptech sector.

After the acquisition, apps from the newly formed firm will allow employees to book conference rooms and get through building security. The platforms would also allow workers to order food and communicate with local restaurants and vendors, the Journal reports, likely easing the experience of returning to the office.

Upon the deal’s closing, VTS’ office-app business will be present in more than 1,400 buildings for more than 2 million users across the United States and Canada, according to the Journal, and count major office landlords including Brookfield, Oxford Properties Group, Starwood Capital Group and RXR Realty as customers.

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VTS made headlines in March, when the company agreed to acquire Rise Buildings for around $100 million. The Chicago-based startup powers a mobile app that was used in about 350 buildings totaling more than 130 million square feet at the time the acquisition was reported.

Lane, which is used in more than 300 buildings in eight countries, raised $10 million in its first funding round in May.

Companies and landlords have in recent months sought to improve the office experience and entice employees to return after more than a year away. Some companies are adding perks, such as gym memberships and free snacks, to lure workers back.

Workers do appear to be coming back, albeit slowly. In ten major cities, an average of 36 percent of the workforce was back in the office the week of Oct. 4, according to data from Kastle Systems. The figure marked the second straight week of more than a third of the workforce back in the office.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner