Proptech startup HqO raises $34M Series B to bring tenant experience (TeX) to commercial real estate market
Commercial real estate market is currently going through a major transformation. Unlike before, there is now a fundamental shift from an industry which solely focused on physical asset management to one centered on user experience. At the forefront of this transformation is HqO, a property technology (proptech) that provides a tenant experience (TeX) platform for commercial real estate owners and tenants.
Today, HqO announced it has secured $34.25 million in Series B funding to expand its market-leading technology, double its engineering team, and grow sales and business operations to accelerate national and international expansion. The round was led by software investor Insight Partners (the investor that also backed VTS, Shopify, DocuSign and many others), with participation of previous investors Accomplice and Navitas Capital. The funding will also power HqO’s continued growth both nationally and internationally — including doubling its engineering team — as well as the expansion of its market-leading technology.
HqO, which launched its software less than two years ago, has firmly established itself as the leading tenant experience platform — a compelling subsection of proptech that touches not just landlords but the day-to-day work lives of countless office workers. The Boston, Massachusetts-based HqO was founded by Chase Garbarino, Greg Gomer, Jared Stenquist, and Kevin Mccarthy to create a tenant experience platform that helps landlords create places people love. Since launched in January 2018, HqO has partnered with the leading landlords, property managers, and brokers who want to attract innovative tenants, provide a premium experience, and increase overall asset value.
As the proptech (property technology) landscape matures, venture capitalists and software investors continue to flood the market with capital in hopes of funding the latest innovations to truly transform and disrupt the real estate industry. Investor confidence in the proptech space remains at an all-time high, according to the Global Proptech Confidence Index, and in Q3 2019 alone, investors poured a whopping $24.6 billion into proptech startups.
HqO’s technology unifies all of a building’s tenant-facing technology, amenities and conveniences into a single platform, and has been deployed by some of the industry’s largest office landlords, including Blackstone’s EQ Office, Jamestown and DivcoWest. In addition to powering 70 million square feet of office space in markets across the U.S. and beyond (including the Willis Tower in Chicago — the second-tallest building in North America), HqO has now raised a total of $53 million of venture capital funding.
HqO’s technology is currently used in properties in more than a dozen markets in the United States and United Kingdom, including the 4.6-million-square-foot Willis Tower in Chicago, the second-tallest building in North America. In recent months, the Boston-based company has opened offices in New York City, London, and Paris to fuel its continued growth.
“Over the past few years, there’s been a tidal wave of tenant demand for an enhanced workplace experience, and a growing cohort of commercial landlords has begun to seek out software solutions that meet this market need,” said HqO CEO Chase Garbarino. “HqO has become a true platform that offers tenants and landlords a seamless experience by integrating with the full stack of building technologies across mobility, property management, retail and community categories. Insight Partners has an extensive track record of partnering with world-leading companies that transform their respective industries, and we’re excited to work with them as we continue our global expansion.”
“With office workers spending half of their waking hours in the workspace, commercial landlords are increasingly cognizant of the returns they can generate by enhancing the office experience,” said AJ Malhotra, Vice President at Insight Partners. “After an exhaustive examination of the landscape of TeX providers, HqO’s technology and the passion with which its executive team guides the company helped it stand out as a clear leader in the market. With rapid user growth internationally and in nearly every major U.S. metro, HqO has become a TeX force, and we’re excited to partner with them as they continue scaling their business.”
HqO’s platform also features content and events help to build a sense of community throughout the property. HqO provides landlords with invaluable data, enabling them to increase tenant retention, differentiate the building to prospective tenants, and inform asset strategy. Furthermore, the HqO platform is the landlord’s unifying technology layer for connecting with and managing amenities via standardized APIs, resulting in a seamless experience for tenants in a single building or across a portfolio.
“The customer experience for commercial office tenants is extremely convoluted, as individuals currently have to navigate disparate systems for amenities, visitor management, and work orders,” said Garbarino. “HqO is a true platform that connects with the best-in-class building technology of every major functional vertical, unifying mobile access credentialing, transit data, and service requests with an interface for booking building resources, classes, and services. With this capital infusion, we’ll accelerate platform development to deliver true interoperability, advancing our ability to create both tech-enabled physical experiences for building occupants and actionable, and tenant experience intelligence for commercial real estate landlords.”