PropTech1 Ventures, the European venture capital fund focused on the innovation potential of the real estate industry, is the lead investor in the $4 mln (€3.36 mln) seed funding round of the UK-based proptech startup Desana.
Other notable investors in the financing round include BGF (British Growth Fund), Techstart Ventures, the Canadian PropTech VC Ground Break Ventures, and the scout programme of Accel Ventures.
Desana, the flexible workspace platform for global employers, allows employees to book the office space they desire from a global network of co-working spaces or their company’s own office spaces.
For PropTech1, Desana represents the first investment in the UK, underlining the proptech and constructiontech fund’s pan-European investment thesis.
Earlier this year, Kingma Ma joined PropTech1 to head PT1’s London office. Prior to joining PT1, Ma worked as an investment associate at the PropTech-focused VC investor Round Hill Capital/Ventures as well as an early employee in several startups (including Bought By Many, which has recently become a >$2 bn unicorn) and also previously founded his own startup.
Furthermore, Tzvete Doncheva recently joined to further ramp up the pan-European platform, who also had a previous stint at Round Hill Ventures.
Ma said: 'We are excited that with Desana we have found a solution in the UK that we believe will have a great impact in shaping the global future of work.
'But there are other interesting challenges that the UK market is faced with in particular, e.g. incoming green legislation affecting utilities and industry carbon emissions as well as the rapid changes in consumer habits, especially post-Covid and their impact on retail spaces, transport, and parking.
'These challenges give rise to incredibly exciting opportunities for proptech startups to present real working solutions to the UK real estate market.'
Michael Cockburn, co-founder and CEO of Desana, said: 'Over the last year we’ve helped some of the world's leading companies address the immediate challenges of hybrid working at scale, while also building the foundations for a more data-driven approach to real estate strategy and urban planning.
'Enabling staff to decide where to work unlocks a unique stream of data that provides valuable insight into where employees actually want to work on a day-by-day basis. We were excited to discover that, even at this early stage, data from our platform is already informing decisions about where companies lease space.'