the game is changing. hospitality and office are merging. wow. think about that.
Convene is leading the charge. The industry needs it, and wants it.
I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Convene Cofounder/CEO Ryan Simonetti during a Twitter live #TALKSHOP at their amazing and beautiful space at 237 Park Avenue recently, an RXR-owned Class A property in Midtown Manhattan.
I was fortunate because Ryan and team are moving so fast they are hard to pin down. Their business is exploding, in a good way! The tech-enabled “workplace-as-a-service” company has 16 locations open today. And 11 in development. Opening in LA and Chicago soon, totaling 5 cities. And according to Ryan, even with a head count of nearly 350, they are trying to hire an additional 200 just this year alone.
And they are launching a new, much anticipated tech platform soon too. Trailblazers for sure! Convene is really redefining the workplace experience WITH landlords as their customers. To me, that is a game changer. There is always talk in the industry about this start up and that a startup is going to displace landlords or brokers, but it’s total bullshit to me. The winners will be those like Convene that enable landlords and brokers to compete more effectively and operate more efficiently.
While Convene’s meteoric growth seems an overnight success, the real story according to Ryan is that it was much harder, more challenging and full of more risk than people realize. To me, those are the stories I love to hear and write about. As I tell startups all the time in this space that it TAKES TIME to build a successful CRE Tech company. But if you listen to your customers, don’t “look at your bank account” according to Ryan, adjust and pivot along the way and simply work your ass off, there is the potential of amazing growth and success to be had in this field.
Here are five takeaways from my TalkShop Live with Ryan:
It’s been a long journey for them and they are just getting started! Few probably know that they started in 2008. Clearly they have the mental muscle and long-term view to build something pretty amazing.
They have raised $120m and are raising more. WOW!
They are trying to hire 200 people in just this year alone. That’s more than any other startup I know of.
The have built an amazing culture within their company. It’s always funny to me when companies talk about culture and then you talk to their employees and it’s all bullshit. I have been around enough people at Convene to know they really do care about building a lifestyle brand for their employees first and their customers second.
Their secret sauce is coming...it’s an app of sorts. It’s going to be a game-changer for them. In other words, what we see now is just the tip of the iceberg.
Below some funny photos my team took during the interview...funny because they love to always mock me about my hand gestures :)