Commercial real estate landlords who want to reposition part of their properties as flexible workspaces currently have two options only: either create it by themselves, or rent it out to one of the large flexible workspace providers. The tech startup infinitSpace (www.infinitSpace.com) has identified a gap in the market: it offers flexible workspace as a white-label solution for landlords and has raised one million euros of funding in less than six weeks. The investment will be used to scale the business in the core markets Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. The founders of infinitSpace are North & West Europe’s former MD of WeWork, Wybo Wijnbergen as CEO, his brother and serial tech entrepreneur Wilco Wijnbergen as CTO, and former director of real estate at Mindspace, Elad Hod as CGO.
The Amsterdam-based startup targets all landlords wishing to transform their office building into flexible workspace. InfinitSpace provides fully operational services to landlords and activates common and other underutilized areas in office buildings.
Demand shifts in the office market
The world’s biggest unicorns and many S&P 500 corporates have shifted part of their office portfolio: through memberships with flexible workspace providers they changed from traditional leases to short-term commitments of less than five years. These sought-after corporates are currently accommodated by large flexible workspace providers rather than office landlords.
“Unicorns and large corporates jumped on this trend three years ago. This concept enables them to extend or reduce office space on demand alongside advantages of short-term lease commitments. To address this demand, landlords have to add a flexible workspace component to every ‘Grade A’ building, alongside providing an optimized experience for traditional tenants. Those not adjusting to the market’s new era will take an unbearable risk of becoming non-competitive”, says infinitSpace co-founder and CGO Elad Hod.
What is flex space, and how can landlords benefit from it?
Flexible workspace is the evolution of co-working: like a hotel, it mainly offers flexible private offices alongside shared and open areas. It also provides a wide range of supporting services to the
members on an ‘all-inclusive’ basis. Independent operation requires significant know-how and experience in terms of management, administration, furnishing, finding tenants and maintaining the premises – all very time-consuming processes. As a consequence, landlords partner with flexible workspace providers, losing influence on decision-making. The majority of flex space suppliers only consider prime locations, making it difficult for commercial property owners in other areas of the city finding tenants.
“Our flexible business concept allows us to service prime as well as de-centralized locations. As a white-label provider, we fully adapt to landlords’ requirements concerning design and operation while the space is operated under their brand name”, says co-founder and CEO Wybo Wijnbergen. “It includes concept, design and furnishing, marketing and client acquisition, community and events management, administration and sales and maintenance of the premises. Community managers at location and our dedicated software guarantee an elevated experience for landlords, tenants and users of the premises.”
In-house software for smooth user experience
InfinitSpace provides a dedicated software which handles facility and office management processes, ensures building security and the highest levels of IT-security. The software also manages accounting processes, capacity and community management, features an app for office users and ensures safety measures during the pandemic.
“Our software ensures a comprehensive and smooth user experience for owners, tenants and users of the spaces alike,” comments co-founder and CTO Wilco Wijnbergen.
Business development and local communities
InfinitSpace wants to democratize flexible workspace: employees and employers should have access to high-quality flexible workspace spaces within a 15-minute commute, reducing the carbon footprint. Additionally, the importance of local communities is often neglected in large cities: by bringing together people with different professional backgrounds in a flexible workspace, infinitSpace aims to promote diversity, exchange and economic strength.
According to the investors, the international property market requires a new approach and new solutions to the current challenges: “InfinitSpace has recognized these needs and offers tailor-made solutions for all target groups: property owners, tenants and users of office spaces alike. The
sustainable component as well as the community idea further convinced us. We are pleased to support the team in realizing its goals and are excited about the transformation of the office real estate market that infinitSpace will help to shape,” says Oliver Linde, representative from JLR Star, a private investment company based in London, UK.