Toronto-based Just Boardrooms has raised $3 million CAD from a group of angel investors as the company launched its online marketplace for in-person meeting spaces.
Spun out of Theturnlab in 2021, Just Boardrooms was initially designed to support gig workers, but is now available to all business professionals looking for a private workspace.
Its marketplace instantly pairs people with organizations looking to rent their unused meeting spaces. Just Boardrooms claims its goal is to help remote workers overcome “rising collaboration deficits with a safe, low carbon, sharing economy platform.”
Just Boardrooms is available for download via iOS and Android, and the marketplace currently supports Toronto locations with hopes to operate in 100 major cities across North America before the end of 2023.
“Today, more and more business leaders are choosing to maintain remote and hybrid workforces but still require access to clean and safe, conveniently located meeting spaces to collaborate in-person,” said Howard Chang, co-founder and CEO, Just Boardrooms. “Just Boardrooms was designed with these professionals in mind.”
According to the company, it intends to use the funds to help commercialize its technology and bring it to the market. Just Boardrooms also said it plans to raise additional capital to support its expansion and marketing efforts.
Just Boardrooms launched its marketplace as the coworking industry has gone through changes during COVID-19, including the shift to remote and flexible work.
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This, in part, led to the likes of WeWork facing difficulties, and closer to home Montréal-based Breather filing for insolvency in December 2020 amid financial troubles and significant downsizing.
In May, however, Breather was able to exhale. New York-based Industrious National Management Company, an operator of collaborative offices, agreed to buy Breather for $33 million USD.
As companies are starting to return to physical working space, coworking is starting to see a comeback. Amsterdam-founded Spaces, for example, has established its Canadian presence with the opening of multiple coworking locations in Ontario.
Spaces currently holds 428 locations with 10 being in Toronto. In 2019, it opened one rentable workspace in Ottawa with 18 others being spread across Canada.
Within the same year, New York-based proptech company Knotel also opened offices in Toronto, and represents its first expansion into Canada.
Just Boardrooms believes the need for access to safe, professional and conveniently located meeting rooms will be critical for not only the modern gig economy worker, but also the corporate worker who is “now unhinged from their former office” owing to the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Regardless of where the pendulum swings in favor of work from home or from the office, the need for human, social contact will always be central to facilitate business,” the company said in a LinkedIn post.