Loosecubes is one of those startups that has managed to break through a very noisy space. It may have been marketing, a catchy name, a better product, speed to market, or a combination of all of the above. The New York startup competes with 23 different shared office space startups including Deskwanted, Desksurfing, Desks Near Me, and LiquidSpace.
Loosecubes CEO Campbell McKellar joked that the company “went negative” against its competitors on its application video for Techcrunch Disrupt last year, and it probably cost them entrance into the contest. But skipping the event doesn’t seem to have hurt Loosecubes — of its competitors, the company is the most funded, has locations in the most countries, and has the most media attention. (Liquidspace, which includes more business centers and pay-by-hour conference rooms over shared by-the-day desks, has a comparable number of host offices with a few more cities and users.)
Last month Loosecubes raised $7.8 million from NEA, Accel Partners, and Battery Ventures, adding to a prior $1.23 million seed round. It’s now in 230 cities and 66 countries, with more than 1,000 workspaces.
Today the company announced a big hire — Loosecubes has added Greg Whalin, co-founder, former CTO, and Head of Product at Meetup.com, as its CTO. The company is also working with Maria Thomas, former CEO of Etsy, as its interim COO. McKellar said she lured Whalin, who’d left Meetup several months back to consult other startups, to her company after inviting him in for a brown bag lunch with her 19-person team.
Loosecubes has grown rapidly because of its social focus, something Whalin has experience with thanks to his work at Meetup.com, one of the Web’s original online-to-offline social media sites. Where some of Loosecubes’ competitors focus on the office space and getting corporate clients, Loosecubes makes sure you can choose the type of people you’d like to be working around, be it writers, designers, or startup entrepreneurs. “Who you’re working around is just as important as what you’re working on,” McKellar says. “Part of liking what you do is just liking who you’re going to lunch with.”
The company’s summer co-working challenge is underway. That program allows people to use Loosecubes for free and rack up points and prizes based on how often they cowork. It has wrangled new users to the site and created a bunch of engagement that has helped the company think about the way it monetizes going forward. (Currently, there’s a monthly fee.)
Now, Loosecubes is focusing on getting more host offices on board. Adding more spaces for its 13,000 members is becoming a priority. New York is basically maxed out, she says. The company is also preparing to launch an iOS app.