You may not have heard of Knotel, but the company has been quietly — and aggressively — setting up a network of working spaces around New York City since 2015.
This morning they announced a $25 million Series A round that they plan on using to supercharge that growth. We caught up with Knotel Co-Founder and CEO Amol Sarva, who told us about their plans for the future.
What exactly is Knotel? How does it work?
Headquarters as a service. Knotel is a unique network of sites where companies can build their operations in a beautiful and personal way — the flexible spaces we create provide an excellent community of veterans and business leaders who can focus on their company operations and culture while having all their office needs catered by Knotel’s Office System. The Knotel model promotes flexible terms and a rapid identification and creation of space for businesses based on their needs.
What sets Knotel apart from something like WeWork or a more traditional office lease?
When companies outgrow coworking and are ready for their own space — that’s when they should consider Knotel. Leases are lame. Nobody likes them. You always do a deal you regret.
Knotel is scalable and adaptable as a company HQ.
It’s important to note we are not a coworking space, like WeWork. You won’t find shared desks and resources split amongst entrepreneurs and freelancers and students. We are a network of custom locations for modern businesses. What sets us apart from traditional office leases is flexibility. There are no big deposits or lawyers or long lease commitments, and we handle all of the office management. As a company's needs change, we change with them in real time. We also cut out the middleman brokers.
Knotel residents also get immediate access to service professionals who manage their space. Each Knotel becomes a business’ unique office space where their brand and culture are tangible and evident in the design.
How many buildings do you have?
We currently have 10 locations around the city and plan to add 10 more in the next few months. Top locations include Battery Park, Bryant Park, Union Square Campus, Cooper Square, Houston, Williamsburg Campus and DUMBO.
It seems like you have a lot of really interesting CEOs in your building — do you do anything to bring them together into a community?
Yes. Throughout all of our locations, we frequently hold events where industry leaders in every category can come together and discuss trends within their category. We also just bump into each other and cross-pollinate all day long — one enterprise SaaS company to another, one financing strategy to a venture firm in-house, a CFO on the hunt for the next move, etc.
I know you've been super busy opening up all over NYC, what does 2017 hold?
We are scaling quickly. There will be multiple Knotels in every part of town where CEOs want to put their companies by the end of the year. Over time we intend to create a vast global enterprise — with New York as the start and 2017 as the year we open our first locations in other supercities around the world. We plan on signing some of the top modern businesses in every industry, not just tech companies.