Stealth startup Breather today raised $1.5 million. The seed round was led by Montreal-based Real Ventures, with participation from Gary Vaynerchuk, Mike Walsh, and others.
The startup will have headquarters in Montreal and New York City. Here’s how Breather is self-described:
Breather is a network of rooms inside cities that are opened by phone. If you are a member, you can access them at any time for a small fee. This is like zipcar for rooms. Just like you need short term car usage, lots of people use space in the short term. Right now, the best option when you’re away from your office and home is Starbucks. Breather wants to change that. All the spaces have wifi and all the other essentials for work, but are more like a lounge than an office.
“On-demand space is inevitable. It was just about how it was going to be done. As soon as I saw the technology emerging, I knew what the implications were. So I went for it,” explains Julien Smith, the founder of Breather.
“I wanted to give people a place where they could get peace and quiet, anytime, whatever their reason for it,” he continued. “A Breather is like a little studio apartment or office. We make sure it’s always nicely furnished, with good wifi you don’t have to ask the password for. They’re always quiet, private, and clean, so you can take a phone call, have a meeting, or take a nap.”
“As an investor in Breather, I’m excited about the huge market to leverage dormant real estate assets and love how the Breather team will capitalize on this market,” says Walsh of Structure Capital. “Having invested in the first round of Uber, it’s deja vu for me.”
It’s unclear when Breather will launch publicly.