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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: HqO acquires Symbiosy, a smart office solution developed by HB Reavis | Fine & Country Foundation raises £126,353 to help large number of charities

HqO acquires Symbiosy, a smart office solution developed by HB Reavis, to its portfolio to transform real estate experience

HqO further scales people-centric product portfolio and continues rapid global expansion

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a pitch event given by HB Reavis at their London HQ, which led me to become a big advocate of their business, and an equally big fan of Symbiosy, which in my simplistic view was a philosophy of how to nurture and cradle the human in their work environment. Back then many years before the switch to different operating systems for work, HB Reavis whose main focus is build and develop huge workplaces for the future, understood that the built environment, people and work needed to blend in harmony.

Fast forward some years and I delighted to receive the following Press Release, showing that HqO who seem to be striding forward at a time many operators are scaling back, have acquired the now fully developed Symbiosy system, in what to me will be a really big piece of solving the jigsaw of work in the future, the where the how and the balance of the human, to get the best results for all stakeholders. I look forward with interest to see how this all rolls out.

Press Release Leading real estate experience platform HqO, has made a strategic acquisition of Symbiosy, a workspace technology created by international workspace provider HB Reavis, which offers a portfolio of smart building solutions consisting of systems integrations, IoT, and software interfaces.

Symbiosy’s portfolio of cutting-edge smart office technology solutions offers employee experience, data management, and visualization tools that support enhanced workplace experiences for increased performance. Symbiosy’s proven delivery of high-quality, digitally led experiences across all assets is directly aligned with HqO’s mission to connect real estate to the people through a cross-property suite of powerful applications and services that foster best-in-class, dynamic end-user experiences.

This acquisition further propels HqO’s growing occupier business and expands its geographical footprint, especially in European business hubs, including London, Berlin, and Warsaw. The transaction comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement of its Series D funding of over $50 million.

Along with the much-anticipated launch of the HqO Real Estate Experience (REX) Platform, the first end-to-end experience solution built around the customer. HqO will continue to power HB Reavis’ portfolio of workspaces and support its growing global customer base through this strategic partnership.

Chase Garbarino, Co-Founder and CEO at HqO  comments, “Adding Symbiosy to the HqO family is the perfect fit with our vision to put people and their experiences of space at the center of the real estate industry. By pairing HqO’s newly launched REX Platform with Symbiosy’s deep expertise in creating intelligent and innovative workplaces, we are reimagining the future of real estate experience. We are excited to bring Symbiosy’s intimate knowledge of the built environment and the people within it to our customers as we continue to scale and innovate our occupier product offerings.”

Marcel Sedlak, CEO of HB Reavis, an international workspace provider with a consolidated Gross Asset Value of €4 billion comments, “During HB Reavis’ 30 years of experience in real estate, our people-centric approach focused on well-being has proven to generate the most value for real estate businesses and people. Partnering with HqO will enable us to continue focusing on this path while providing the existing Symbiosy customers with enhanced services and solutions,”

Tibor Nyitray, Head of Symbiosy further comments, “During the five years spent creating Symbiosy within the HB Reavis universe, dedicated to refining the symbiotic connection between buildings, offices, and their users to deliver the best occupier experience, Symbiosy has been on a transformative journey. Now we are poised to extend this distinctive partnership with HB Reavis and HqO even further.”

“Together, we aim to support our existing clients and introduce our combined product offerings to a broader audience, empowering more customers to harness the advantages of smart building technology, hybrid work support, energy optimization, and tenant engagement in order to enhance the overall workplace experience and well-being.”

This is HqO’s third acquisition in two years. In June 2022, HqO acquired Leesman, the world’s leader in measuring employee workplace experience, and in November 2021 acquired Office App, a leading European tenant and employee engagement platform, which expanded HqO’s services into the corporate workspace.

HqO is leading the transformation of the way people experience real estate. Through its Real Estate Experience (REX) Platform—a powerful and dynamic suite of applications and services—HqO has powered over 400 million square feet at over 700 properties across 32 countries. The world’s most innovative organizations rely on HqO to drive operational excellence by maximizing and boosting tenant and employee acquisition, retention, and engagement.

Symbiosy was created by HB Reavis, an international workspace developer, it is a tech and sensory platform that assesses space utilization and indoor environment quality to enable excellent workspace management and ensure user comfort, helping companies to connect and thrive.

HB Reavis is a leading workspace provider that designs, builds, and manages places that enhance the well-being and productivity of its users. Its  buildings are internationally awarded and characterized by central location hubs, offering a people-centric design approach with high standards of sustainability and innovation, and are focused on services for clients.

Operating across five countries, UK, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, HB Reavis has delivered more than 1.69 million square meters of office and retail spaces and currently manages 640,000 square meters of workspaces with a value of €3 billion.

Another record-breaking year for Fine & Country Foundation with £126,353 raised

The Fine & Country Foundation proudly announces a groundbreaking achievement in its mission to support organisations and charities as they combat poverty and homelessness, having raised an astounding £126,352 over the past 12 months. With the money raised as well as additional money already in the pot, the Foundation was able to give away £144,198 during 2023. This funding played a crucial role in addressing the economic impact on non-profit organisations posed by the pandemic, the rising cost of living, and global conflicts.

Jon Cooke, Trustee of the Fine & Country Foundation, expressed his gratitude, stating, “The donations and grants that the Foundation provides play a part in providing essential financial support to many organisations and charities fighting against homelessness and poverty. Without the amazing effort and support of the Fine & Country network and the generosity of the public, the Foundation would not have been able to achieve this milestone.”

In 2023, the Foundation awarded over £92,708 to charities through two grant schemes and other programs, benefiting 51 global charities. November saw 23 charities receiving £47,220, while in Spring, 28 charities shared £45,488. The Grant Programme focuses on offering financial assistance to non-profit organisations, providing crucial support to enable these organisations to continue the vital work they do within their communities.

A highlight of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts was the annual Carols by Candlelight event held in collaboration with King’s College Cambridge in December, raising an incredible £21,000. This sum was donated to Emmaus Cambridge, Jimmy’s Cambridge, Wintercomfort, and Cambridge Cyrenians, supporting vital services for the homeless in the Cambridgeshire region.

Fine & Country branches from the UK and Jersey contributed over £1,500 through a coffee morning in October, engaging the public with baked treats and refreshments. In June, Fine & Country Chiswick partner Harry Middleton swam across the English Channel, raising nearly £3,000 for Make-A-Wish and The Fine & Country Foundation.

The International Annual Conference in London held in March featured a silent auction raising over £8,800 for The Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation donated over £10,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria earthquake appeal following a devastating earthquake in February.

The Fine & Country network’s commitment to fundraising throughout 2023, including events like a Christmas-themed charity walk, Sleep-Out events, a charity disco, and a Tough Mudder 5km course, greatly contributed to the record-breaking amount achieved.

This year adventurous agents from the network will be embarking on a fundraising journey to the Everest Base Camp to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised around £940,000, so the goal will be to reach the £1 million mark in funds raised during 2024 to celebrate this significant milestone. The Everest trip will be a huge boost in the organisation’s efforts. 

Cooke adds that the Foundation would not have been able to achieve such inspiring figures without the Fine & Country network. “While the Foundation organises fundraising events throughout the year, many of the agents within the network take it upon themselves to get creative to raise money. Without their effort and support, the Foundation would not have been able to achieve this milestone. I am looking forward to counting down to the £1 million mark with our network as we celebrate 10-years of proactive support and fund-raising this year,” he comments.

Andrew Stanton’s PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking & News Now publications. #proptech #property #realestate #digitaltransformation #startups

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Andrew Stanton Founder & Editor of 'PROPTECH-X' where his insights, connections, analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are based on writing 1.3M words annually. Plus meeting 1,000 Proptech founders, critiquing 400 decks and having had 130 clients as CEO of 'PROPTECH-PR', a consultancy for Proptech founders seeking growth and exit strategies. He also acts as an advisory for major global real estate companies on sales, acquisitions, market positioning & operations. With 100K followers & readers, he is the 'Proptech Realestate Influencer.'