SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 11 June 2019 - GorillaSpace , the Singapore-based online marketplace for workspace, announced that it has raised an undisclosed seed round of investment led by top Japanese real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. (MEC), with additional participation from a consortium of investors, including Silversea Media Group, a leading immersive media solution provider in Asia.
The GorillaSpace team aims to build the marketplace of choice for workspace.
This investment from MEC marks the first proptech investment outside of Japan, as well as the first seed level investment for the property giant. The investment from MEC is part of their initiative to discover new business projects and to develop synergy with existing businesses. MEC has already committed 10 billion yen(US$100 million) to this purpose, of which the GorillaSpace investment is part.
"We believe in the founders who have deep commercial real estate experience and technical capabilities. GorillaSpace represents a fresh and exciting way to showcase office spaces and help businesses find workspaces more efficiently." said Kyota Kobayashi, the General Manager of MEC's Business Creation Department.
Founded in 2018 by Ben and Ginny Eckblad, GorillaSpace empowers businesses to more easily find and lease office space, coworking spaces and serviced offices. The platform is the first property marketplace to offer both long-term office spaces and flexible workspace options, as well as a hybrid of the two categories - the so-called "Core and Flex" that is gaining increasing attention in corporate real estate circles.
GorillaSpace is creating an ecosystem that serves businesses looking for space, space operators, landlords, as well as brokers. GorillaSpace is unique in its partnership approach with brokers.
"We believe brokers play an important role in delivering the more complex transactions, where expertise in negotiations and in the preparation of documentation is a requisite," said Ben Eckblad, Founder and CEO of GorillaSpace. "By the same token, simple transactions with flexible space operators and requiring only a license agreement can be concluded online."
Key advantages of the platform for businesses include:
● Verified Listings Workspaces offered on the platform are verified in-person by a dedicated team to protect users from wrong information about the space's price, area and availability, as well as fraudulent advertisers.
● 360° Panoramas, Videos, 3D/VR Virtual Tours & High-Definition Images
Users can experience each workspace through high definition images, 360° panoramas, videos and 3D virtual tours, enabling faster selection of spaces before making the physical visits.
● Smart Recommendation Engine
Unlike other workspace platforms that depend solely on search, GorillaSpace also offers a personalized and curated smart recommendation engine to quickly match businesses with the right workspace for their needs. Using this solution, businesses can reduce up to 75 hours of their search time.
"With the support of our strategic investors, we are able to accelerate the reach and scope of our online marketplace always with the single focus to delight our users," said Ben. "The commercial property market is experiencing a shift from multi-year office space leases to more flexible options. Businesses want less commitment upfront and GorillaSpace helps them see all available options . Businesses now have the choice of combining a long-term lease together with flexible space to house specialised teams or temporary additional headcount."
In the first four months of 2019, GorillaSpace has helped over 1,000 businesses find solutions to their workspace needs. Since the end of 2018, GorillaSpace has seen a 21.5% month-on-month growth in traffic to the website, as well as a growth of over 30% in listings on the platform.
Chang HuanJian, from Funding Societies, found their workspace through GorillaSpace and commented: "The space we found was just like the photos and 360° panoramas shown online. I was able to communicate the shortlisted options with our co-founders.This service really saved us a lot of time and helped decision making."
GorillaSpace is the marketplace of choice for workspace. Businesses use GorillaSpace to more easily find and lease office space, coworking spaces, serviced offices and other workspaces. Users can experience the workspaces via 360°panoramas, high resolution photographs and videos. The GorillaSpace leadership team has over two decades of experience in commercial real estate and technology. Our mission is to make it easy for all companies to find the perfect workspaces at every stage of their business growth.
About Ben & Ginny Eckblad
Ben and Ginny first met at college some 20 years ago, when they were both studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Ben brings 20+ years of commercial office transaction experience as well as the vision on how GorillaSpace can help companies of all sizes with flexible space requirements. He brings tried and tested best practices from tech companies, bringing tech into real estate. In her previous work experience in a highly successful FinTech company, Ginny was the go-to person to start projects and quickly scale them globally. She is passionate about building products and creating new businesses. Both founders are fluent in English, French and Mandarin, with over two decades of experience working in Greater China, Europe and South East Asia.
Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. (MEC), listed in Tokyo Stock Exchange, is a leading international property development and investment company with a substantial commercial and residential portfolio in Japan, which includes over 30 major buildings in the Marunouchi area, Tokyo's premium central business district. MEC operates in Singapore through Mitsubishi Estate Asia Pte. Ltd. (MEA), its wholly owned subsidiary, to seek opportunities in Asia. MEA and other MEC bases in London and New York cover MEC's global operations as one team.
About Silversea Media Group
Singapore's Silversea Media Group (SMG) is a multi-national technology company offering immersive media solutions. SMG has a proven track-record of deploying immersive and interactive virtual tour experiences across SE Asia, through strategic partnerships with top-tier real estate players across the region.