Toronto-based proptech startup Lane, which offers a platform to streamline office space communications between landlords, property managers, businesses, retailers, and vendors, has raised a $10 million CAD Series A funding round. This brings the company’s total raised to $14 million CAD.
“Offices aren’t going anywhere. They’re great places for people to meet up and collaborate, and work together.”
The round was led by new investor Round 13 Capital and received participation from previous investors Alate Partners and Panache Ventures. Lane will use the new financing to accelerate its expansion globally and double its 40-person team by the end of this year. The round comes after a period of significant growth for the company, which earlier this year, opened a new Toronto office in January to accommodate its growing team.
“With this funding in place, we will be able to expand the reach of the Lane platform and deliver even greater benefit to all members of the workplace,” said Clinton Robinson, CEO of Lane.
Lane offers a workplace management platform, targeted to property owners overseeing employee handbooks, tenant directories, guest registration, and maintenance updates. The company was founded in 2015 by Robinson and Kofi Gyekye, Lane’s chief product officer.
Robinson told BetaKit Lane was originally seeking a US investor to lead the round when it opened the Series A in January, but later realized Round 13 was a better fit to lead. He said Round 13 Capital’s managing partner Bruce Croxon will bring deep SaaS expertise as the company enters its next phase of growth.
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“We were looking at the investment pre-COVID … and thought the requirement for communication has actually increased during this time as we spread out and try to get our work done,” Croxon told BetaKit.
“With this funding in place, we will be able to expand the reach of the Lane platform.”
Lane announced its plans for expansion into the US just over a year ago, before raising its $2.5 million seed round. Over the past six months, the startup has launched its platform throughout Brookfield Properties’ commercial portfolio in the US and is now deepening that partnership through an international rollout, including in Australia and Dubai.
Lane is also looking to expand its offering beyond property managers, to work directly with the companies using office space. Robinson said although these companies have always been part of Lane’s platform from a technology perspective, the pandemic has highlighted the need to streamline workspace management for the company’s using commercial spaces.
The expansion from property managers to corporate clients is currently in its early stages, and Lane is in talks with several undisclosed corporations.
“Offices aren’t going anywhere”
COVID-19 has brought about big changes to the way people work. The pandemic has led to large companies like Shopify and OpenText opting for a permanent remote work model. When asked about how this shift will affect Lane’s business, Robinson said Lane is well-suited for the future for work, and in fact, has seen demand for its services double since the pandemic hit.
“Offices aren’t going anywhere,” Robinson told BetaKit. “They’re great places for people to meet up and collaborate, and work together.”
The CEO said Lane’s platform has been “instrumental” in coordinating a safe return to work. The platform allows employees to plan staggered days in the office and book specific arrival times using a centralized calendar in keeping with physical distancing recommendations.
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Lane brands itself as a “crisis management tool,” and Robinson said although the COVID-19 crisis is a “one-off,” the need for communication will not go away post-pandemic.
“Even Shopify [is] keeping their offices as communal drop-in areas,” he added. “So it’s not like you are never coming back to the office. But it’s like, ‘let’s all come back to the office when we need to meet and collaborate.’ I think that’s all amazing for us.”
Croxon echoed this idea when speaking with BetaKit, reaffirming that although the world is currently working remotely he expects that the “premium on communication” and the need for more communication are only going to increase.
Image source Lane.