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Transwestern EVP Leaves To Join Blackstone-Backed Proptech Startup

A Cove workspace in 2018. The firm has since moved into the proptech space.

Transwestern broker has decamped to a proptech startup just after it received a major cash infusion.

George Vogelei, most recently an executive vice president at Transwestern, was hired as chief growth officer for Cove, he announced in a LinkedIn post Tuesday. 

In his new role, Vogelei will lead sales and marketing for the firm as it expands following a $10M funding round it closed in June, led by Blackstone Innovation Investments and Kastle Systems. Cove was founded in 2013 by Adam Segal and Jeremy Scott. 

"What I’ve always appreciated about Adam and Jeremy is they’ve always had a vision for where real estate’s headed that’s largely been accurate, and they’ve had an ability and a desire to help owners solve problems," Vogelei told Bisnow. "When they raised a round of funding from Blackstone and Kastle, I felt that was the right time for me to join."

D.C.-based Cove initially operated small coworking locations in its hometown and later in Boston. But after several years, the firm moved into the proptech space, offering a technology platform that landlords and tenants alike can use for greater control of their workspace.

Vogelei sees the firm's background in operations as a key part of its success, built on a centralized technology platform for tenant engagement and building operations.

George Vogelei, chief growth officer at Cove

"Cove has a vision that the future of work ... is powered by seamless experiences where people can do their best work anywhere, anytime," Vogelei said. "They really see themselves as a one-stop shop, and having been operators themselves, their integrations go really deep."

Vogelei joined Transwestern in 2017 and spent five years working with office owners on their leasing and asset management strategies. He previously spent more than three years at Newmark, then known as Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and before that he spent more than two years at Vornado Realty Trust.

He said his experience as a broker and working in commercial real estate has given him insight into the needs of large landlords. At Cove, he said he can address those needs by providing a cost-effective platform that works as well for newer buildings as it does for older assets in need of new amenities to attract remote workers.

"As the office environment has become more competitive, owners are trying to find ways to keep their costs down while providing high-quality product in a consistent workplace experience," Vogelei said. "Oftentimes, the solution for them is to put in place a technology strategy that ... can make your old, stodgy office building a place that people want to work."

Besides serving office owners, Cove also provides platforms for occupiers, multifamily and retail. Vogelei said the firm is also looking to expand in many of the country's top office markets, thanks in part to its implementation within properties in Blackstone's EQ Office portfolio, including Chicago's Willis Tower.

"It’s just as easy for us to deploy in D.C. as it is in Seattle," Vogelei said. "So we’ll continue to be focused on expansion nationally. That being said, Cove is headquartered in D.C. We have really strong relationships in the market. We will always consider this our home market."

Related Topics: George Vogelei, Cove, Adam Segal