Zurich, Switzerland and New York, USA, 23 September 2021 – Locatee, the leading workplace analytics solution, has raised 8.4m USD (7.7m CHF) in a growth financing round. Locatee has already upended the workplace analytics market by proving the value for Forbes Global 2000 companies of leveraging existing IT infrastructure for office occupancy measurement as opposed to using manual counting, badge data or expensive sensors. Companies are pressed to enable new ways of work, reduce their footprint, and improve employee health, wellbeing, productivity and experience. Locatee’s capacities, generating data that brings together the built environment and the people that use it, play a huge role in supporting these challenges.
High growth market
Today, Locatee is leading the occupancy analytics market that is estimated to grow to more than 5bn USD by 2025. This growth is underpinned by the transformation of the role of the office, which accelerated with the Covid-19 pandemic. New ways of working, the widespread adoption of hybrid work models in white-collar industries, and a renewed focus on people and the relationship between their work and the spaces they use to carry it, have given new meaning to the office – as the center of the company culture, collaboration and social interactions. This heightened attention on the employee experience in the office – after decades of open plans, cubicles, and high densities – will put the onus on businesses to experiment and validate their office spaces, and thus, to use real-time utilization data.
People at the center of the work experience
This growth funding round will enable Locatee to consolidate its leading position in this growing market, continue to unlock high value, high tier customers in its portfolio, and drive further value in the Locatee platform to support customers in their challenge to purposefully design and manage an ecosystem of workspaces, centered on people, employee experience, safety and productivity. Beyond office space optimization, consolidation and enrichment, the future of work will require businesses to orchestrate a myriad of spaces or “work points” with increasing complexity. Locatee will help businesses solve the tension between the right work experience, and the right investment in their spaces.
The sweet spot for accuracy, robustness, costs, and efforts
The Locatee story started with the observation that some of the largest companies in the world still used unreliable processes such as manual counting or badge data, or expensive and unscalable technologies such as sensors, to figure out if one of their largest expense items, their real estate portfolio, was being used optimally or not. Thomas Kessler and Benedikt Köppel, co-founders of Locatee, set out to create a solution that not only measures space utilization in isolation, but has the capacity to contextualize spaces in relation to the people that use them. Using existing data from IT infrastructure, Locatee built the most scalable and cost-efficient solution for space utilization and created a technology that can expand beyond space measurement purposes.
The funding round
The round is led by SmartFin, a European growth equity fund with c. 380m EUR assets under management, includes new investors such as Zürcher Kantonalbank, Swiss Immo Lab, and Verve Ventures, and sees previous investors FYRFLY Venture Partners and Tomahawk VC participating as well. The $8.4m funding round is coming on the heels of Locatee’s Series A round which raised $4m in 2020.
“The last year has been quite the ride for Locatee – even with the market being in a pinch due to the pandemic, we could still see how our solution is highly valued and sought after”, said Thomas Kessler, co-founder and CEO of Locatee. “Even in this context, we have seen our revenues grow significantly, as Locatee’s relevancy spans today’s questions and tomorrow’s challenges. Together with the board, employees, and stakeholders, we looked at the market signs, and saw the opportunity to double down on growth and value creation. And we selected SmartFin to lead this push with us”.
“SmartFin’s strategy is to work with European market-leading technology companies to help them build and grow”, said Jürgen Ingels, SmartFin Founding Partner. “Locatee has proven to be brilliant in establishing a strong, leading position in a new, exciting and fast-growing market and we believe this is a key time to build from this leading position and create the new standard for workplace data”.
“The vision for Locatee’s solution that convinced us before, just keeps being validated by both the market and the developments in the corporate world”, said Philipp Stauffer, co-founder and managing director at FYRFLY Venture Partners. “The momentum is enormous, and this fundraising round will allow us to capture it. We have built capabilities which have created a new category and established a market leader; we now look at realizing the full market potential, as the market wakes up to this new world of work.”
Locatee is the leading workplace analytics solution that transforms complex data into space utilization insight. Developed with a deep understanding of the corporate real estate challenges facing the modern world of work, Locatee empowers workplace leaders to make decisions about their business buildings with confidence. Among current Locatee customers are several Global 2000 businesses, as well as forward-thinking companies such as SwissRe, Deloitte or Zurich Insurance Group.
SmartFin is a European private equity and venture capital investor, managing c. 380m EUR in assets and investing in mid to later-stage technology companies with a focus on B2B technologies. SmartFin has an open-ended investment philosophy and invests throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. The team combines a successful venture capital and private equity track-record with extensive operational experience in building and managing leading international technology companies which differentiates it as an experienced hands-on value-added partner to its portfolio companies.