WorkChew, a startup that turns hotels and restaurants into on-demand flexible workspaces, announced today that it has raised $2.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round. Harlem Capital led the deal, which included participation from Wilshire Lane Partners, Invictus Advisory Group, Techstars Ventures, and RW Capital Investments, Inc. The deal also saw individual investments from strategic angels, including Kabbage co-founder Kathryn Petralia, Etsy co-founder Chris Maguire, Kyle Tibbits of Paradox Capital, and Alex Chan, formerly of UBER.
WorkChew, founded by Maisha Burt in late 2018, allows remote professionals to find and book workspace in cities and suburbs across the US. Membership is often covered by employers but can also be purchased by individuals. WorkChew is currently in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicagoand will open soon in New York, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Denver. As more companies move to hybrid workplace models, many are thinking about how to keep their remote employees engaged, happy and productive.
WorkChew is an amazing employee perk and an excellent complement to a company’s overall workplace strategy. With WorkChew, company employees can access workspaces wherever they are — whether in an urban corridor or a suburb outside of a major city — redefining flexible work’s true meaning. WorkChew offers flexible options for individuals, SMBs, and Enterprise companies.
“WorkChew is a solution that means less miles traveled for the employee, fewer dollars spent by the company on more expensive coworking space, and incremental revenue for hospitality partners,” Burt said. “Innovative and forward-thinking companies are actively considering solutions that improve workforce productivity and experience away from the office,” Burt added.
Jarrid Tingle, Managing Partner at Harlem Capital, met Maisha in January 2021 and “instantly understood the need for the business and was impressed by the founding team’s vision and relevant experience.” Tingle said, “the pandemic has significantly altered how we work. Harlem Capital believes it’s very unlikely that knowledge workers go back to commuting and working in the office five days a week after seeing the benefits of remote work. However, we all still yearn for human connection. Having a place to work individually or with colleagues in flexible, comfortable settings outside of the home is appealing for many people.” Tingle will be joining the company’s Board.
Adam Demuyakor, Managing Partner of Wilshire Lane Partners will be joining the company as a Board Observer. “WorkChew is a rapidly growing two-sided marketplace that is optimized for a post-pandemic work economy,” said Demuaykor. “The monetization of underutilized spaces is a key thesis at Wilshire Lane Partners and WorkChew delivers on this. Restaurants and hotels that are seeing reduced demand today will stand to benefit greatly from WorkChew’s platform as an auxiliary channel to generate revenue.”
The new funding will be used to build out the team, product development, and marketing. “We are growing the team and are getting to the point where we can focus on our next goals, which are to ramp-up customer acquisition and build supply across the U.S.,” says Burt.
Burt and co-founder Allyson McDougal believe in and are driven by supporting people in achieving their goals. WorkChew builds environments that give people the spaces and tools they need to elevate their productivity, brand, and side-hustle without the high price-tag.
“We’re really excited about what the future holds,” McDougal says. “Currently, we are experiencing one of the most significant shifts in how we work of our time. We’re just getting started and are looking forward to helping remote professionals and corporations adjust to this new world of work,” says McDougal.
Follow @workchew on Twitter & Instagram to vote on their next city. Sign up here to find out when a WorkChew location will open near you.