Codi raises $7M to turn homes into local coworking spaces

Steven Loeb · December 4, 2020 · Short URL:

The company has also expanded to the East Coast, launching in New York and New Jersey

While more than 50 percent of workers in the U.S. currently work from home, it's not something that works for everyone. Maybe they have children or they have roommates, which can make it find to find a quiet place at home. On the opposite end, there are those that live alone and want to be around people, and get out of the house a bit. In both cases, the problem they face is that commuting to an office or a co-working space isn't feasible right now thanks to the pandemic.

That's where Codi comes in, offering daytime workspaces in private homes, so that workers can find places to go within their own neighborhoods. The idea came to co-founder and CEO Christelle Rohaut in 2018, when she was working on her Master’s in City Planning at UC Berkeley.

"I struggled with the isolation of working from home and decided to try working from friends’ homes. I realized we’re surrounded by underutilized private homes that could become thriving local co=working hubs serving remote professionals," she told VatorNews.

"Today, more than 50 percent of people in the US work from home, 99 percent do not live within three miles of a coworking or office space, and many do not have the appropriate conditions at home to be productive and balanced. I created Codi to make their lives better, help them establish a clear line between work and home life."

The mission goes far beyond just providing them a workspace, though, she explained: "Codi revitalizes residential neighborhoods by developing strong circular economies."

Now the company is going to be able to put that vision into place as it announced on Friday that it raised $7 million in funding from investors that includes NFX, Urban Innovation Fund and ANIMO Ventures. The round includes $1.65 million in pre-seed funding that was previously announced in 2018.

Codi's typical customer is a company with between 50 to 1,000 employees who embrace flexible work. By using the platform, employers are able to offer local workspaces as an employee benefit.

Here's how it works: Codi offers companies monthly subscriptions so they can provide local workspace benefits for employees as part of work-from-home or hybrid work models. Companies can have dedicated Codi workspaces that exclusively serve their teams, allowing single employees or small groups to work together, locally but privately.

Members book their seat pre-reserved through the Codi app in their own neighborhoods; many members use Codi spaces two or three times a week. Codi work sessions take place only during the day, ending at 6 pm; the company doesn't allow overnights. Members can find office-level amenities in all Codis as all hosts have to meet Codi quality standards including a kitchen, fast Wi-Fi, power outlets, large work table, windows and a coffee station. Spaces are screened and background checked.

The company, which has seen a 29x increase in enterprise partnerships over the last few months thanks to the pandemic, is available in cities in Northern California, as well as Austin, Las Vegas and Orting, Washington. Now, along with the funding, it also revealed that is has begun offering its services on the East Coast, launching in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northern New Jersey. In fact, Codi has already lined up over 100 hosts and hundreds of members in those areas, including Suzy.

"We launched NYC to meet the growing amount of companies asking us to serve their employees in the area," said Rohaut.

"No other U.S. city has seen as large a reduction in people working in offices than New York. According to CBRE Group, as of September 18, only 1 in 10 Manhattan office workers were back, with the balance presumably working from home or elsewhere. A large impediment to returning to offices has been the need to take public transportation, which many people are still avoiding due to COVID-19 concerns."

Codi isn't stopping with its expansion to the East Coast: it plans to use the funding to expand nationally to the other major cities in the U.S. throughout 2021.

"Our big vision is to allow any employee around the globe to walk to work. We’re a mission-driven company. Overall, our goal is to enable people to lead happier, more fulfilled lives. A couple of years from now, I see Codi as the first choice for remote companies and the reason for the revitalization of our local communities," Rohaut said.

"We’ve estimated that Codi can boost local economies by at least 2.3x, cut two tons of carbon emissions per employee per year, and help Codi hosts afford the homes they love. That’s what success looks like for me."

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