Around, a Mexican proptech offering fully serviced office space for growing teams raised US$3.8 million in a seed round, projecting 5x growth by 2023. LEAP Global Partners led the round, and, with it, the startup has raised funds for more than US$4 million, according to Crunchbase.
Latitud Ventures, Ganas Ventures, Gaingels, Unpopular Ventures, August Hill and a16z scout fund also participated in the raise. In addition to Jonathan Wasserstrum, co-founder of SquareFoot; Jerónima Uribe, co-founder of La Haus; Jonathan McNulty, former vice president of product at Trulia and Zillow; Lucas Vargas, former CEO of VivaReal; and Conor Welsh, former global director for tax/legal operations at Airbnb; among others.
For the proptech founded by Martin Haiek, Alfonso Tinoco and Gerardo Vallarta, Latin America represents a market opportunity of more than US$40 billion. They estimate that by 2030, 30% of all office space will be flexible and designed for hybrid companies. Today, this figure is only 3%.
Goodbye to fixed rents
Martin Haiek, CEO of Around, told Contxto that the proptech was born in late 2020 as a technology platform that connects real estate with growing companies looking for workspace with flexible terms and looking to be close to their collaborators.
Around has a marketplace with photos of offices for rent to showcase its available spaces. These can be visited and rented “Netflix-style,” as they are charged monthly, without a deposit, and with a credit card. This means there is no long-term contract and clients can change offices whenever they choose.
“Companies tend to stay longer than one month. In fact, 6 out of 10 stay at least 12 months. This is because of the flexibility with the subscription scheme,” he noted.
The CEO says that more than 50% of tenants mistakenly plan for the space they will need and end up trapped in long-term leases, paying for space they don’t take advantage of.
He explains that with Around, clients save time and money in the process, and if they are looking to rent another larger space at a moment’s notice, they can do so. “Companies can grow with Around, which is a great differentiator,” he says.
The spaces are not owned by Around, but they set them up as offices. They operate under a revenue share model, and the owner is given a previously agreed percentage for every dollar earned from the property.
Hybrid offices beyond Mexico
Around has 25 employees and has already reached US$2.5 million in annual revenues. It has more than 130 spaces for teams ranging from five to more than 100 people. Among its clients are Tribal, Flink, Fondeadora, Investo, and Monashees. Most of these offices are in Mexico City and a few in Guadalajara and Monterrey.
They plan to officially arrive in Guadalajara and Monterrey during the second half of 2022 and expand to major cities in Latin America, starting with São Paulo, Brazil, between the next 12 and 18 months, explains the CEO.
In addition, with the new funding Around plans to launch financial products for landlords this year, as well as others related to workspace for those renting.