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Convene Raises $68M In Series C Funding Led By Brookfield Property Partners

Office market, offices, conference room

Workspace startup Convene raised $68M in its latest round of funding Monday, with investment led by Brookfield Property Partners, one of the world’s largest property owners.

Stepping into the realm dominated by venture capitalists, traditional CRE players are jumping at the opportunity to bet on the latest industry disruptors. Brookfield's investment led the New York-based startup's Series C funding, Fortune reports. VC firms Conversion Venture Capital and ArrowMark Partners also are among Convene's lead investors. The firm raised $45M during its last funding round in 2016, and has more than doubled its commercial footprint since. Convene has opened two full-service amenity floors within the iconic New York City towers One World Trade Center and Park Avenue Tower.

Convene is one of several tech firms within the non-core real estate sphere that provides what CEO Ryan Simonetti calls “workplace as a service.” The firm manages building amenities and oversees conference rooms, event space and food offerings.

"The way we work has changed forever. The rise of co-working is just the first step in a major industry shift,” Simonetti said. "The most progressive companies are looking for the next generation of workplaces — ones that not only provide improved lease flexibility but also seamlessly integrate physical space, hospitality services and on-demand technology into the overall experience."

Though office occupiers are increasingly space-conscious, tenants still desire amenity-rich experiences, which is where these third-party providers come into play. They offer employers a temporary solution on a need-by-need basis, giving tenants more flexibility to pursue cost-saving initiatives, such as shrinking their square footage. Convene works on behalf of the landlords, not the tenant.

Similar concepts include event and meeting space liaison Bizly, which soft-launched last month. The company connects corporations through an online portal to hundreds of available venues that provide space for events, conferences and meetings. Bizly has raised more than $1.5M from VC firms and silent investors.