A Q&A with Wybo Wijnbergen, Co-founder and CEO at infinitSpace.
Last year, Wybo Wijnbergen, a former Managing Director at WeWork, founded infinitSpace, along with Wilco Wijnbergen and Elad Hod. The white label flexible workspace provider is enabling commercial landlords to adapt their buildings to the new ways that businesses work and, therefore, use offices.
Wybo spoke with UK Tech News about where the idea for the company came from, why infinitSpace stands out within the increasingly competitive flexible workspace market, and what the company’s growth plans are for the coming year.
1. Where did the idea for infinitSpace come from and who are the people behind the business?
infinitSpace was founded in late 2020 by Wilco Wijnbergen, Elad Hod and me. We’re headquartered in Amsterdam but already have pan-European operations.
My background is as a former Managing Director at WeWork, where I helped oversee the company’s expansion across Western Europe. Wilco, our CTO, is the founder of multiple IT companies, including one of the Netherlands’ foremost business management software solutions. And Elad is a former Director of Real Estate at Mindspace. He is a flexible workspace specialist, with a huge amount of experience in commercial real estate transactions.
Our different backgrounds and experiences really compliment one another well. There is a combined understanding around commercial real estate, the future of work, and the role of technology within both property management and flexible working.
The idea for infinitSpace was born out of the fact that we shared the same vision for how the workplace needed to evolve in order to meet the needs of all the key stakeholders: commercial landlords, business leaders and employees.
Throughout 2020, the three of us spoke with many office building landlords to discuss flexible working; their opinions on it and the challenges it presents them. We heard their views on the industry and how they perceived the future of office space, not to mention the complexity of embracing flexibility within their own buildings.
With the flexible working revolution gathering such pace during the pandemic, and commercial landlords struggling to adapt their buildings to keep up with the evolving demands of businesses, it was clear that a solution was needed. And so we created infinitSpace, a company that enables commercial landlords to easily create and run a flexible office space under their brand and conditions.
2. Who is infinitSpace aiming to help?
First and foremost, we aim to help landlords. As noted above, many office building landlords are looking to transition from traditional workspaces into modern, flexible spaces.
We help them remove the various challenges in completing this transformation by creating white label flexible workspace brands. They maintain control of the space, but we do the heavy lifting – we implement modern technology with all the facilities and solutions that companies today require. The result is an incredible experience for the tenant, while the landlord is better able to serve the exponentially increasing demand for flexible workspaces.
To that end, at the same time as helping landlords, we are also helping businesses, their employees and communities by creating spaces that engage and inspire. Where the industrial revolution was about transforming the workplace to increase productivity, the next revolution of the workplace is about improving the lives of the workforce. This mission sits at the heart of the services we offer.
3. How competitive is your marketplace and what makes infinitSpace unique from its competitors?
The flexible working space is becoming increasingly competitive, with big name operators like WeWork already establishing themselves as household names. But infinitSpace is notably different from such operators – we allow commercial landlords to remain in control of their own flexible working brand.
Our tech solution is another important part of our offering, which differentiates us from others in this space. infinitSpace provides a dedicated software that handles facility and office management processes, ensures building security and the highest levels of IT-security. The software also manages accounting processes, capacity and community management, features an app for office users, and ensures safety measures during the pandemic.
Our tenant experience technology connects all occupants of a building, both traditional and flexible, and creates a sense of community alongside flexible space – a proposition that is unique to infinitSpace.
We want to democratise flexible workspace: employees and employers should have access to high-quality flexible workspaces within a 15-minute commute, reducing the carbon footprint. Additionally, the importance of local communities is often neglected in large cities: by bringing together people with different professional backgrounds in a flexible workspace, infinitSpace aims to promote diversity, inclusion, exchange and economic strength.
4. What are the main challenges you have had to overcome since founding the business?
Covid-19 accelerated the demand for flexible workspace, however it also paused innovative and investment decisions. Whilst the demand is increasing fast, and the call to landlords to act on it, plans have been postponed. We have therefore experienced some delays in decisions.
5. How has the business been funded to date, and what, if any, are your investment plans for the future?
Earlier this year, infinitSpace raised 1 million euros. The funding round lasted just six weeks, with keen interest from our private network of investors. This initial investment is being used to scale the business in our core markets: the UK, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands.
6. We are planning another funding round in the next 12 months. We see incredible potential and demand for the product that we’re bringing to the real estate industry, and in order to act on this, our company requires additional funding as we really want to support landlords and their occupiers in local markets as much as we possibly can.
7. Are you looking to hire in the near future? If so, in what roles?
We currently have open roles in the UK, the Netherlands and Israel, and we will continue to grow our team as we open more locations in the near future.