The London-based PropTech startup, Hubble, secured £1.2m in a funding round which was led by Firestartr (Transferwise, Second Home, Peak, Urban Massage). The round also saw the participation by leading investors in the real estate and technology sectors which include 500 Startups, Maxfield Capital, and Concrete amongst others. This round follows a £500k seed round completed by the company at the end of 2014.
On the investment, Alexander Lazarev, Partner at Maxfield Capital said
As an early stage property tech investor, we believe that the commercial property industry will follow the same digital transformation as residential. Hubble is the leading company in the space, giving customers a one-stop shop for flexible space, greater transparency and the ability to move with a few clicks. With 30% of the office sector estimated to be flexible by 2030 (from just 3% in 2010), this is a huge macroeconomic shift in how the world uses physical space
Founded in 2014 by Tushar Agarwal (CEO), Tom Watson (CTO) and Rohan Silva (Second Home, former advisor to David Cameron), the company started out by helping small startups find spare office space. The company is an online marketplace to match those looking to rent office space with those who have it. Simple. They mainly focus on co-working shared offices and private serviced offices within specific hubs in London that are perfect for startups.
On the fundraising, Hubble’s CEO, Tushar Agarwal, said:
Brexit has been a boon for us, as SMEs that would traditionally sign long-term office leases are now coming to Hubble to look for flexible terms as a hedge against the uncertain economic environment; office landlords are being forced to find innovative ways to generate income.
The platform claims to have more than 30,000 businesses signed up, with over 20,000 desks available to rent on a flexible basis across London. The company also claims to have helped brands such as Monzo, Ministry of Sound & Funding Circle but is also increasingly working with blue-chip corporate firms such as Jaguar Land Rover, Mouchel, and Aldermore Bank.
On the development, Tom Watson, CTO, Hubble said:
We’re moving towards the world where technology is either enhancing or replacing the experience a customer has with a broker. We’ve seen this with Habito in the mortgage market and the Nutmeg Robo-advisor in the investment market.
Further adding to that, he said:
This new funding allows us to build a platform that will be able to deliver an unlimited number
of rental transactions at zero marginal cost and reduce average transaction time from 3 months to 3 weeks. The Hubble platform will never compromise on the quality of the match and the service. In fact, it’s the opposite of human property agents – machine learning will mean that the platform gets better the more people use it.
The funding will help the company expand the current platform into cities across the UK and beyond. The company is also expected to start building new, proprietary technology, in the form of a smart digital advisor which is expected to replace commercial property agents to deliver instant, intelligent solutions in office rental transactions for SMEs (companies up to 250 people).