Virtuzone has invested as the lead investor in a USD 1 million (AED 3.67 million) seed funding round in Hotdesk, the on-demand workspace booking platform that allows users to instantly find and book workspaces around the world.
Hotdesk’s platform has multiple offerings – desks, meeting rooms and private offices by the hour, day, month, or year. The proprietary technology creates an opportunity for businesses with underutilised workspaces to sublet their vacant office space and generate additional revenue. Hotdesk’s hosts range from coworking spaces, shared offices, hotel business centres, and vacant furnished commercial office spaces.
Through this significant investment, Virtuzone aims to bring more adaptable solutions to entrepreneurs and corporates, in order to meet the changing needs of a dynamic corporate environment that is increasingly becoming more flexible and decentralised.
The USD 1M funding round is led by Virtuzone, the largest incorporation provider for companies setting up offices in the region. AlZayani Investments, a leading real estate group with a significant commercial property footprint in Western Europe and North America, has participated in the round through their venture capital arm, Zayani Venture Capital.
High-profile angel investors who participated in the round in their personal capacity include Youssef Salem – Swvl’s CFO whose background is in investment banking as Executive Director at Moelis & Company and who was featured in Forbes 30 under 30 earlier this month; and Khaled AlFahim – who is a Board Member in Abu Dhabi’s Chamber of Commerce, Board Member at Berlin’s Black Lane, and Ex-board Member in Al Fahim Group in Abu Dhabi who own a hotel and hospitality portfolio and are serial startup investors.
Neil Petch, Chairman and Co-founder of Virtuzone, said: “Exploring innovative solutions that can advance entrepreneurship has always been one of our fundamental objectives. We see great potential in the workspace solutions that Hotdesk brings, and these align with our goals to remove barriers to entrepreneurship and make it a lot easier to start and do business in the UAE and abroad. With the capabilities that Hotdesk is offering to the corporate market, it can very well become the Airbnb of workspaces.”
George Hojeige, CEO of Virtuzone, said: “Investing in technologies like Hotdesk is essential to bring about positive change and revolutionary progress to the global startup community. In this time of economic recovery, we need to help create opportunities for growth and enable entrepreneurs and SMEs to build a strong foundation for success. People want more freedom and flexibility in how they work and do business. We believe the global reach and extensive range of options that Hotdesk offers can help startups, entrepreneurs and global nomads have the full advantages and infrastructure of a traditional office, with the added conveniences of a versatile and agile work environment.”
Hotdesk runs an asset-free model where it does not own or lease any of its workspaces, but rather consolidates the scattered market of empty commercial real estate on one platform. Soft launch to date, the Company has generated USD 100k+ in gross bookings, 10k+ hours of bookings, 1.5k+ users, and 3,000+ rooms and areas from 300+ hosts across 55 cities in EMEA.
Mohamed Khaled, Founder & CEO of Hotdesk, said: “We are amidst a pivotal point in history – where work and workspaces are democratised. Hybrid models are the future, and Hotdesk falls right in between giving the comfort of working from home, yet being able to socialise, be equipped, and without the daunting corporate office experience. Businesses have become smarter and leaner post-covid, and no one wants a 5-year unfurnished lease anymore. Plug-and-play scalable workspace solutions are the way forward. Our core mission is to help people unleash their productivity, and give our hosts a chance to better utilise their unused commercial real estate assets. Virtuzone are an extremely strategic partner that well positions us to delve into the realm of incorporations in Dubai and the region, with the number of business setups soaring higher than ever.”
Mohamed Khaled was recently involved as Director of Finance at Swvl in the Middle East’s first USD 1.5 billion unicorn to list on NASDAQ through a business combination with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (“SPAC”), and was part of the core de-SPAC transaction execution team. Hotdesk has garnered significant talent from PwC, Delivery Hero, Rocket Internet, Google, and Careem – all with the vision to revolutionise how people work.
Hotdesk is set to feature in Lisbon, Portugal’s WebSummit next November.