Loosecubes, the New York-based co-working startup, will shut down its operations, according to a cryptic blog post on its site. In June, the company raised $7.8 million in venture backing from New Enterprise Associates, Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, Hamilton Investment Partners, Revolution on top of a $1.23 million round in 2010.
The company’s aim was to become the “Airbnb of office space.” With 16 employees, it’s hard to imagine Loosecubes burned through that cash in five months. Operations end on Friday.
Co-founders Campbell McKellar and Anna Thomas gave no hint as to why the company is shutting down in their blog post:
The past two and a half years have been such an incredible journey. From a team of two to an incredible company of 16. From a big idea to a community of 25,000+ Loosecubers in over 60 countries around the world. And from a single coworking space to thousands of hosts, from Stockholm to San Diego, who have opened their work environments and minds to a better way of working.
McKellar’s cell phone was off and email auto-responded directing me to Thomas, who didn’t respond to my attempts to contact. I’d spoken to McKellar in July, when she hired Greg Whalin of Meetup.com as CTO. At the time, she noted that Loosecubes had 23 competitors, but only two that had gotten a large round of funding and none were taking the social angle Loosecubes was focused on.
She’s right that co-working is a crowded place for startups. The biggest competitor, Liquidspace, has business centers and pay-by-hour conference rooms rather than shared by-the-day desks; it has a comparable number of host offices with a few more cities and users. German competitor Deskwanted is also growing rapidly.
I’ll update if I hear anything back from the company or its investors…