It is with great pride today that I get to announce that HqO has closed $34.25M in Series B financing. This round, led by Insight Partners with participation from previous investors including Accomplice, Navitas Capital, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and JLL Spark, will make HqO the best funded company in the Tenant Experience (TeX) space.
Before I talk about where this money will take us, let’s talk about how we got here.
It has been two years since we launched our first version of the HqO platform. At the time, we believed (and experienced first-hand in our offices of old) that commercial real estate needed to become much more customer-centric. While every other facet of our lives was becoming more tailored to our specific needs through technology, the spaces we occupied every single day remained too analog. So we set out to build a platform that would activate spaces in a meaningful way by delivering seamless, tech-enabled property experiences.
Over the past two years, we have seen accelerated adoption of TeX (the term we coined for this new technology category) by landlords and building occupants alike. For consumers, this technology has been long overdue. With advancements in mobile and IoT technologies, it is now a reality.
Enter Insight Partners, a force in technology venture capital dating back to 1995. Insight’s track record speaks for itself with over $20B in assets under management, 300+ portfolio companies with 40+ IPOs, and 200 M&A transactions for portfolio companies. Insight also has significant experience in the proptech category with investments in VTS, Argus, and SMS Assist among others.
Insight’s success starts with their comprehensive diligence process. When a firm like Insight Partners makes an investment in a tech category, they start by validating the overall potential of the category and identifying a leader in that space. Insight has been tracking the TeX category for over a year and looking at a number of the players in the space. HqO underwent significant diligence — particularly with regards to our technology platform’s capabilities and our customers’ success using HqO. Insight’s confidence in us in the form of this investment is a testament to our technology and customer teams’ hardwork and dedication to putting landlords first.
So, what will this money be used for?
Well, of course we’re hiring, but strategically we’re focused on four key initiatives at a high level:
- Interoperability – in order for properties to truly become “smart” and provide wonderful end-to-end consumer experiences, the stack of technologies that properties use must work seamlessly together. This capital will enable HqO to maintain our leadership position as the platform that provides landlords true interoperability across key point solutions that impact the property experience.
- Enterprise success – technology success in commercial real estate is just as much about people as it is about technology. HqO invests significant resources in our customer success team and capabilities to help landlords transform into tech-enabled and data-driven property owners.
- Data standards – commercial real estate is collecting more data on the people in their properties than ever before. It’s imperative that proptech solutions develop standards for how they share data in a clean, efficient, and secure way. These standards must be developed in tandem with landlords, who also need best practices for handling the data they collect with these solutions. HqO has held numerous conversations with landlords about data security and will continue to push industry wide standards to help protect consumer data privacy.
- Transparency & truth – Last but not least, this investment will help us bring more transparency and truth to proptech and specifically the TeX category. To put it bluntly, there is too much vaporware in the space and too many consultants providing poor advice on TeX strategy & technology and that can have a negative impact on landlords.
When we founded HqO we were ambitious about our desire to create a whole new category of software around TeX. Our success to date is due to our focus on putting landlords first and aligning with their business goals. We also planted the seed for a company that could transform the way people experience the built world through technology. To date we’ve partnered with top landlords to create premium experiences and power over 70M square feet of commercial office space, including some of the most well known buildings in cities and around the world. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but we’re just getting started. If you are a landlord or someone who wants to help improve people’s everyday real world experiences, I hope you join us for the ride. Let’s go!