A former adviser to David Cameron has secured almost £10m in additional funding for his shared workspace business amid soaring international demand from multinationals and technology start-ups.
Sky News understands that Rohan Silva, who left Downing Street in 2013, has raised the money with his co-founder and joint chief executive Sam Aldenton to fuel the company’s international expansion.
The new funds are understood to have come from existing Second Home shareholders including Martin Lau, the founder of Chinese technology group Tencent.
Sources said that Second Home, which operates from sites including one in London’s Shoreditch, is in the process of opening another three sites in the capital.
The company is expanding amid significant demand from major corporate names not typically associated with the type of working environment provided by Second Home.
Its latest funding round takes the total sum raised by Second Home to more than £40m.
Image: Sky sources say the firm is in the process of opening another three sites in London
Sources said it was structured as a convertible instrument that would become equity when the next round – which is intended to be much larger – takes place, probably next year.
Second Home’s founders are targeting 250,000 square feet of office space in London in 2019, and double that amount in the UK capital and Los Angeles by 2020.
Since opening in 2014, Second Home has launched a site in Lisbon.
A number of sizeable deals, including Blackstone’s £500m purchase of The Office Group in June, have underlined the level of investor interest in flexible office space.
WeWork’s stellar price tag has driven much of the appetite to back firms operating in the sector despite scepticism about whether it justifies its valuation.
Second Home has attracted companies such as Zegna, the Italian fashion label, Mercedes, and Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate agent.
Image: Los Angeles is also in Second Home’s sights
The company describes itself as “a creative accelerator”, harnessing the close proximity in which entrepreneurs are able to share ideas and make introductions to prospective business partners and investors.
The company boasts an array of prominent shareholders, including the chairman of ITV, Sir Peter Bazalgette, top executives from the advertising agency M&C Saatchi, and Yuri Millner, the technology tycoon whose vehicle DST Global has backed some of the world’s largest internet companies.
Mr Silva told Sky News: “The fact that EY, Volkswagen, Cushman & Wakefield and other global corporations have teams at Second Home shows how quickly the city is changing.
“This new investment round will help us make the most of this global opportunity.”
He declined to comment on the implied valuation at which Second Home had raised its latest tranche of funding.
Source: Sky News