Breather, a Montreal startup that 0ffers on-demand private office space in multiple cities around North America, has hit a big pay day. The company announced today that it raised $20 million from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, with participation from RRE, Real, SOS, and Slow Ventures.
“Two years ago, this company was just a dream – a piece of paper and a silly little app, with no spaces, no locks, nothing but a feeling that something in the world was missing,” wrote founder Julien Smith.
Breather started with a dozen spaces in New York City and Montreal, while the company now offers 100 spaces in five cities.
“Early users fuelled our hope that we were making something that was valuable to them, and could be valuable to people everywhere,” wrote Smith. “Today, Breather is becoming a global network of trusted, beautiful places where you can meet, work or rest.”
In a nod to what could come in its future, Breather wrote that it’s building something incredibly big, with the goal of being in every commercial building in North America. They’re big dreams for a startup that’s beginning to see some very big investment promises.
For the founders of Breather, the impetus was simple: Space is fundamental to what we do, and private space particularly so, wrote Smith.
“Yet private space remains inaccessible and locked up everywhere. So people end up spending all their time in public, taking phone calls and having meetings in coffee shops, parks, and in the street. To most people, this didn’t feel like something that needed fixing. Yet, for us, it did.
What I personally wanted was an ability to get away – to take a break from the intensity of the city and spend time, on my own, being productive. I didn’t have an office, and hadn’t spent time in one in over 10 years, and due to my speaking career, I had experienced this feeling in dozens of cities all over the world. It was the same everywhere.”