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Breather CEO Bryan Murphy and Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari

Industrious Buys Breather’s Listings Platform

Flex-office operator looking to expand on heels of CBRE investment

Flex-office operator Industrious acquired the listings platform and branding rights of Breather, the Canadian rent-by-the-day company that folded its flexible-office business last year.

Industrious announced Friday that it bought Beather’s intellectual property, technology and data assets. It has a listings platform that includes some 700 on-demand workspaces.

The purchase price was $3 million, according to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari told The Real Deal that Breather’s listings platform is a good complement to Industrious’ network of flex spaces, especially as office workers begin to navigate the new hybrid work model.

“There’s going to be a lot more choice moving between spaces, and that could either be really empowering and a big improvement, or it could be full of friction and a pain in the ass having to make a decision every single day about what you’re going to do,” he said. “This should be one of the tools that helps make work-from-anywhere a better experience.”

Industrious did not acquire Breather’s portfolio of on-demand office locations. Industrious operates co-working and short-term office locations on the asset-light management model, while Breather ran a network of offices it controlled under long-term leases and then rented out to members for as little as a few hours.

The company was once one of Canada’s most promising startups, with a valuation as high as $100 million. But the business faced severe pressure due to the pandemic, and late last year, CEO Bryan Murphy announced plans to close more than 400 locations in the United States, Great Britain and Canada.

“Breather, in its current form as an operator, doesn’t make sense, and, to be frank, I’m not sure it ever made sense,” he said at the time.

The deal comes on the heels of CBRE’s $200 million investment in Industrious, which valued the company at more than $600 million.

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