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JLL And Starwood VC Divisions Back Overhauled Hybrid Work Platform

Hubble co-founder Tushar Agarwal

Investors including JLL and a venture capital firm backed by Starwood have provided funding to a flexible office leasing platform that has overhauled its business model to try and provide hybrid work solutions for companies.

JLL Spark, Starwood-backed Concrete VC and proptech investor Pi Labs provided a £2M convertible loan note to London-based Hubble to help fund the transformation.

Hubble co-founder and CEO Tushar Agarwal said the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to rethink its business model. 

“In March last year, Hubble completely stalled,” he wrote on the company blog and on LinkedIn. “Lockdown forced the entire office market to stop in its tracks and our enquiries fell by 95%. If that wasn't enough, everyone started to question the need for an office at all.

“So we got our thinking caps on. What does the world of work look like post-COVID? How will offices be used, if at all?”

The company has amended its platform to offer four products: a tool that allows companies to survey how their staff want to work, an online search platform for flexible office space, a membership product that allows a company’s staff to access office space on-demand and allow them to work from a variety of spaces, and a “perks” product that offers services like better home office equipment or virtual team experiences, to try and help companies export their culture to the home office. 

“Office rent is the second largest fixed cost for most businesses, with the average cost per employee at £500 per month in London,” Agarwal wrote. “Split across a five-day week, this equates to £100 per day spent in the office. So, what happens when our team spends less time there?”

Agarwal wrote Hubble allows firms to reallocate their budgets to account for hybrid work models that span company HQs, on-demand workspaces like coworking facilities and working from home, which each require their own kinds of expenditures and perks.

The £2M loan note takes the total amount of funding raised by Hubble to £9M.