On-Demand Workspace Provider Breather Raises $45M in Latest Funding Round


Breather, a provider of flexible and private workspace, has raised $45 million in financing from seven investors led by Menlo Ventures, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“la Caisse”), Ascendas-Singbridge and Temasek, Commercial Observer has learned. The round closed on June 4. All told, the company has raised nearly $120 million.

Julien Smith, a co-founder and the CEO of Breather, told CO that this marks the first time Breather is working with real estate players from the financing side. He predicts that Breather “will see meaningful amount of capital coming from real estate.”

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Previous investors have included Valar Ventures, RRE Ventures, Slow Ventures and Real Ventures.

In a press release provided first to CO, Christian Dubé, an executive vice president for Québec at la Caisse, a global institutional investor, said in prepared remarks that his company looks “forward to leveraging our well-established global network in support of Breather’s expansion into new markets.” Dubé highlighted Breather’s “focus on technology and an ongoing emphasis to optimize yield management through machine learning.”

The on-demand space provider is in more than 300 buildings across 10 cities—via leases and/or revenue-sharing agreements with landlords—and its square footage totals more than half a million square feet. Breather has spaces in London, two Canadian cities—Montreal (where it was founded in 2013) and Toronto—and seven U.S. cities.

Yi Ta Chng, the CEO of business community and development at Ascendas-Singbridge, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore, said that businesses in Asia and beyond need flexible leasing options. Chng said in a statement: “We see how Breather’s innovative approach to ‘space-as-a-service’ is solving a real need in the market that other models like coworking have not and we look forward to supporting Breather in bringing that future to reality.”

Smith, who founded the company with Caterina Rizzi, told CO that out of the gate, Breather “was really designed against public space so to speak, like coffee shops, and being like—there’s got to be a private option that people can use.”

“Our customers include businesses of every size, from growing startups to leading enterprise organizations, to provide space solutions that scale to their needs,” Smith said in the press release “Breather enables businesses to access the space they need when they need it, with the freedom to scale usage up or down when they want to. Working with our new equity partners increases our capacity to bring that freedom to even more businesses worldwide.”