Landlords have sometimes looked on the tech-enabled spaces of the likes of WeWork and longed to be part of the cool kids — and attract that new wave of founders. Now a U.K. startup has come up with a way for landlords to do this directly.
Founded by Steve Coulson and Lucy Minton in 2018, U.K.-based Kitt has now raised $5 million (£3.6 million) in seed fundraising, taking the total amount raised by the business to $7.5 million. The round was led by Barclay Ventures.
Kitt says it provides a "fully customizable" workspace solution to tenants via its landlord partners. It connects landlords with tenants directly, then automates most of the traditional functions usually undertaken by office and building managers. The benefit for landlords is that it reduces void periods to up the yield from property.
It now counts companies like Oatly, Nested and PZ Cussons Beauty with their post-COVID office planning.
Spaces are visualized through a VR design process before being built out. Kitt’s mobile app then offers a range of on-demand services to tenants. Spaces get app-based entry systems, remote receptionists and security systems. Landlords can then offer a managed service to tenants, who can contract other suppliers through Kitt’s platform.
On the raise, founder Lucy Minton said: “We have experienced a 600% growth in revenue since August and we expect this growth to continue as offices navigate and understand the changing needs of their team … With flexibility top of the agenda, collaboration, creativity and innovation will be central to office design in a post-COVID world."
She explained: “In short we have built a platform to allow us to operate any space of any size. We work with landlords essentially to repackage their space as a service provider. So from an operating model point of view, we can deliver space remotely into clients' offices anywhere, and from a product point of view, everything is run through our space app."
Investor and former CEO of Axel Springer Digital, Andreas Wiele, added: “By providing a bespoke solution for tenants, they can plan beyond the next six months and navigate their own version of the office of the future. For landlords, Kitt is offering a chance to market space in a new way that enables them to sell offices worth leaving home for.”