What It's Like To Rep a $4.5B Startup Like Zenefits
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Custom Spaces principal Jon Dishotsky tells us repping Zenefits has been the wildest ride of his career. In nine short months, the brokerage has done 12 leases in three countries for the S.F.-based HR and benefits startup, totaling 344k SF. We met Jon at cute coffee shop Small, steps away from his South Park office. He recalls the first deal his team worked on for Zenefits in 2014: repurposing subterranean space in Scottsdale. He sent us this before-and-after shot of the space, below, with VP of sales Sam Blond and Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad. Also on the deal on the landlord side: CBRE's Bryan Taute and the Stockdale Capital Partners crew (Dan Michaels and Sean Blitz).
Arizona got lots of love from Jon and Zenefits this year, as the company has closed on another 132k SF of office in Tempe to take advantage of the quality talent in that submarket and proximity to restaurants, nightlife and housing. On the landlord team: Parkway's Matt Mooney and Bryan. (Jon also gave a shout-out to the local team Ryan Bartos and Matt Coxhead of Studley Phoenix.)
At Kilroy's 303 2nd St, the $4.5B startup is in talks to tack on an extra 50k SF in the building as well as subleasing space from AppDynamics, bringing its total footprint to 120k SF. The company has continued to grow rapidly to accommodate the 100 new employees it hires each month in S.F. (Jon's firm Custom Spaces, founded by Jenny Haeg, has grown big in the past year as well, from four to 15.) JLL's Chris Roeder and Ted Davies repped Kilroy. CBRE's Tim Kazul worked on the AppDynamics sublease.
An international expansion is underway, with Zenefits looking at two big engineering hubs in Vancouver and Bangalore. Jon notes the extended family of Zenefits execs is also growing; Parker and the firm's head of real estate each had babies, or "Zenebabies," in the past nine months. "Rumor is they're going to be starting young and making special calls to customers soon," says Jon.