Smart Buildings

What’s Behind the HqO Decision to Acquire Symbiosy Smart Office Platform?

This Research Note examines what’s behind HqO’s decision to acquire the Symbiosy platform from HB Reavis. We review the deal in the context of HqO’s tenant experience and workplace management strategy and assess their strategic partnerships and investments in the last two years. HqO Profile Founded in 2018, Boston, US-based HqO offers a Real Estate Experience (REX) Platform at over 700 properties across 32 countries and over 400 million square feet. LinkedIn reports 160 employees. HqO’s commercial clients include Columbia Property Trust, Vornado Realty Trust, Nuveen Real Estate, Jamestown L.P., Hudson Pacific Properties, Grosvenor, Landsec, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Endurance Land. In October 2023, HqO raised over $50 million in Series D funding to fuel the company’s mission to disrupt the real estate industry. The funding round was led by Koch Real Estate Investments with participation from many of the company’s existing investors, leading venture capital and commercial real estate firms including Accomplice, Insight […]

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This Research Note examines what’s behind HqO’s decision to acquire the Symbiosy platform from HB Reavis. We review the deal in the context of HqO’s tenant experience and workplace management strategy and assess their strategic partnerships and investments in the last two years.

HqO Profile

Founded in 2018, Boston, US-based HqO offers a Real Estate Experience (REX) Platform at over 700 properties across 32 countries and over 400 million square feet. LinkedIn reports 160 employees.

HqO’s commercial clients include Columbia Property Trust, Vornado Realty Trust, Nuveen Real Estate, Jamestown L.P., Hudson Pacific Properties, Grosvenor, Landsec, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Endurance Land.

In October 2023, HqO raised over $50 million in Series D funding to fuel the company’s mission to disrupt the real estate industry.

The funding round was led by Koch Real Estate Investments with participation from many of the company’s existing investors, leading venture capital and commercial real estate firms including Accomplice, Insight Partners, and Related. JLL Spark Global Venture Fund is also a significant investor in the company.

The additional capital brings the company’s total funding to over $200 million, bolstering an already strong balance sheet and positioning the company to continue executing on its targeted M&A strategy.

Acquisition of Symbiosy from HB Reavis

In January 2024, Symbiosy, the workplace management platform created in-house at HB Reavis, was acquired by HqO. Founded in Bratislava, Slovak Republic in 2018, Symbiosy offers a portfolio of smart building solutions consisting of systems integrations, IoT, and software interfaces.

HqO will continue to power HB Reavis’ portfolio of workspaces and support its growing global customer base through this strategic partnership.

This strategic investment further enables HqO’s expansion into Europe, following the acquisition of Office App. The deal also augments HqO’s smart office portfolio with space utilization and energy optimization functionality.

Acquisition of Office App

In October 2021, HqO announced the acquisition of Office App, an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based firm. The Office App acquisition will help HqO increase its European footprint and accelerate product development to better support its customers, as Office App is currently active in 20 million square feet across over 100 offices in 24 countries.

Aquisition of Leesman

In June 2022, HqO announced the acquisition of Leesman, the UK-based firm measuring employee workplace experience. This acquisition furthered HqO’s commitment to transforming the office and enabling people to connect with their workplaces.
Leesman’s workplace experience data, which includes nearly 1 million office respondents and nearly 300,000 home-based respondents, will augment HqO’s existing, workplace experience offerings.

HqO Acquisitions Strategy

Strategic Partnership with JLL & Acquisition of JLL Jet

In July 2022, real estate and investment management company JLL, and HqO deepened their strategic partnership to address the growing importance of workplace experience for building owners and corporate occupiers.

As part of a global licensing deal, JLL can directly sell HqO, offering a streamlined solution to a broader customer base. Additionally, HqO acquired JLL Jet, a hybrid workplace app, to enrich its platform.

In October 2022, HqO announced the launch of new integrations to enterprise and property management systems. Through the integration with Corrigo and JLL Technologies, corporate employees who use HqO can now submit and manage a variety of service requests, Enrichment to the existing integration between HqO and Building Engines Prism also makes it easier for tenant users to reserve resources within the HqO Workplace Experience App.

The strategic partnership with JLL has enabled HqO to complement its own workplace experience offering with core building systems to provide an integrated enterprise offering that corporate customers demand.

HqO has evolved from providing a single-focus tenant engagement app towards offering a cross-property smart office suite of applications and services that enable improved end-user experiences in commercial workplaces.

This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.

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