Edinburgh- and London-based startup Desana has closed a seed round of £550,000 with Techstart Ventures.
The company, due to launch later this year, will give subscribers access to a UK-wide network of workspace to use whenever and wherever they need it.
Desana is said to be the first UK-based platform designed to give organisations and individuals by-the-hour access to a quality network of co-working workplaces through a single monthly subscription.
The £550,000 investment will enable the startup to grow its existing network of venues across Britain, as well as begin to position the network overseas.
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More than half of the world’s professionals work remotely on a regular basis, according to Desana, posing new challenges for modern workers and employers – working from home regularly, in particular, often leads to feelings of isolation and unproductivity. Desana aims to bring subscribers seamless access to quality workspaces so they are always connected to like-minded people, good desks, and speedy Wi-Fi.
The platform supports the nascent rise in co-working in recent years (it is estimated that a new co-working space opens in London every five days and global co-working spaces such as WeWork are used by employers such as Apple, Facebook, and HSBC), enabling co-working and flexible workspaces to list vacant desks to suit their own demand. Co-working space operators can therefore monetise spare occupancy while Desana’s subscribers benefit from flexible access to workspace in a timely way that suits their needs.
Desana’s longer-term ambition is to rethink how people access the places they work, ultimately fitting with the Smart City agendas of many of the world’s largest and most congested metropolises by optimising how people use and access workspace in general.
Michael Cockburn, co-founder of Desana, said: “The idea for Desana came from our own experience of working from home – like many flexible workers my co-founder and I realised while working from our kitchen tables that we missed the camaraderie of an office space and in so doing we spotted the wider corporate opportunity.
“In the last decade, huge technological advancements mean that a notable portion of the global population only require a laptop and WiFi to work, Desana gives these workers the flexibility to work from a co-working office space as and when they want to.”
Mark Hogarth of TechStart Ventures said: “We were delighted to support the Desana team with their recent seed round. The upcoming launch of the Desana platform is just a first step towards enabling a radical change in how organisations and people interact with their workplaces.”
Desana is scheduled to launch in late September and is currently running a limited early access offer – where those who sign up now will benefit from free credits and a lifetime discount.