The recent acquisitions of Office App and Lane by HqO and VTS respectively, both announced on 19thOctober, are the latest indication that well-funded workplace experience app suppliers are seeking to gain dominance. The market is still fragmented given the number of players - over 100 suppliers globally, according to our Workplace Experience Apps report.
HqO, a Boston, US-based provider of a tenant experience platform for commercial real estate announced the acquisition of Office App, the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based firm currently active in 20 million square feet across over 100 offices in 24 countries. Office App will enable HqO to increase its European footprint. HqO has received total investment of over $100 million, with a Series C round of $60 million completed in April this year.
The North American market has also experienced consolidation and investment activity in mobile apps. With the acquisition of Lane, VTS reports that it will have the largest global customer base for tenant experience, with an addressable 3 million users across 1,400 buildings in 13 countries. Lane, a Canadian workplace experience platform provider used by several top landlords including Brookfield, Oxford and Hines, strengthens VTS’ existing tenant experience solution. VTS-Rise was formed in March 2021 when VTS acquired Rise Buildings, a US mobile app vendor for commercial real estate and multi-family properties. While Lane itself enhanced its technology-based workplace platform with the acquisition of eServus, another Canadian tenant engagement specialist, in October 2020.
VTS is a New York based commercial real estate software company providing a leasing, marketing, and asset management platform. More than 60% of Class A office space in the US and 12 billion square feet of office, retail, and industrial real estate globally is managed on the VTS platform. The firm is a well-funded startup founded in 2012 with total investment of around $187 million, having completed a Series D round of $90 million led by Brookfield Ventures in 2019.
Proptech deals continue to be reported at a rapid pace in workplace technology. The strategic rationale for deals is on expanding solutions that address landlords’ needs to ensure the health and safety of office occupants, strengthening tenant relationships and augmenting offerings with easy-to-use tools that assist in the return to work phase and hybrid working.
As our report concludes, the European market is an attractive proposition for suppliers of workplace technology in the digital office sector. Witco, a Parisian startup formerly known as MonBuilding, announced the launch of its smart building app in the UK after raising $14 million in Series A funding. Witco is used in more than 800 buildings across 200 cities and counts 5,000 companies as clients in France and Canada. Its solution has been adapted to offices (HQ and multi-tenants), coworking spaces and managed residential buildings. Witco said it will use the investment to expand into UK, Germany and Spain.
Equiem, the provider of Australia’s most widely used tenant experience platform, acquired British Land’s Vicinitee property management platform in April 2021. The acquisition of Vicinitee tripled their UK business and increased Equiem’s global footprint to circa 500 buildings and over 100 million square feet of commercial real estate. Vicinitee is currently used across 157 properties, including The Shard, The Gherkin, The Scalpel, Kings Cross and Broadgate. The platform is also used by many of the UK’s largest managing agents, including Knight Frank and Savills.
Lincoln Property Company, one of the largest full-service real estate firms in the United States, acquired a stake in Equiem with a strategic investment in July 2021. Previously, Equiem completed a Series A round of $8.4 million in 2019, bringing total disclosed funding to over $20 million.
These acquisitions and investments are indicative of a buoyant workplace technology market accelerated by the changing needs of commercial real estate landlords and tenants in a return to the office.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.