Co-working app that connects workers to available office space secures tech investor backing

Left to right: Mark Hogarth, Steve Jeans, Michael Cockburn, Colin McCulloch, Robert Richmond

An Edinburgh-based web app which allows workers to choose and book quality workspace has secured £550,000 in seed funding.

Desana, a portal that connects remotely located workers to co-working office spaces, is being supported by the Scotland and Northern Ireland tech investor TechStart Ventures.

Desana claims to be the first UK-based platform designed to give organisations and individuals ‘by-the-hour’ access to a quality network of co-working workplaces through a single monthly subscription.

This investment will enable the platform to grow its existing network of instantly-accessible work spaces across Britain as well as beginning to position the network overseas.

It is reported that over half of the world’s professionals work remotely on a regular basis, posing new challenges for modern workers and employers: working from home regularly, in particular, often leads to feelings of isolation and unproductivity. Desana aims to bring subscribers seamless access to quality workspaces so they are always connected to like-minded people, good desks, and speedy Wi-Fi. 

The platform supports the nascent rise in co-working in recent years (it’s estimated that a new co-working space opens in London every five days and global co-working spaces such as WeWork are used by employers such as Apple, Facebook, and HSBC), enabling co-working and flexible work spaces to list vacant desks to suit their own demand.

Co-working space operators can therefore monetise spare occupancy while subscribers to Desana benefit from flexible access to quality work space in a way that suits modern working. 

Desana’s longer-term ambition is to rethink how people access the places they work, ultimately fitting with the Smart City agendas of many of the world’s largest and most congested metropolises by optimising how people use and access workspace in general.

Michael Cockburn, co-founder of Desana, said: “The idea for Desana came from our own experience of working from home – like many flexible workers, my co-founder and I realised while working from our kitchen tables that we missed the camaraderie of an office space and in so doing we spotted the wider corporate opportunity. In the last decade, huge technological advancements mean that a notable portion of the global population only require a laptop and WiFi to work, Desana gives these workers the flexibility to work from a co-working office space as and when they want to.”

Mark Hogarth, of TechStart Ventures, said: “We were delighted to support the Desana team with their recent seed round. The upcoming launch of the Desana platform is just a first step towards enabling a radical change in how organisations and people interact with their workplaces.”

Desana is scheduled to launch in late September and is currently running a limited early access offer – where those who sign up now will benefit from free credits and a lifetime discount.