Published Friday, January 4th, 2013, by Sue Saldibar.
Officing Today would like to congratulate Instant Offices, and CEO, Patrick Elliot, for what appears to be a stellar year, showing a 30% growth over last year. Their track record has attracted a new investor, private equity house, MML. Let’s hope the growth shown by Instant is just the beginning of a prosperous new year for independent business centers!
Read the full press release below.
INSTANT THE FLEXIBLE OFFICE SPECIALIST HAS BROUGHT IN INVESTMENT PARTNER MML TO ACCELERATE GROWTH
- Private equity house MML is investing £16m to take a minority stake in Instant and support the rapidly growing company, which saw revenue increase by 30% last year to over £22m
- Led by CEO Patrick Elliott, the management team continues to hold the majority of the business; founder Rob Hamilton will retain a stake and remain a non-executive director
- Strong growth is expected from Instant’s Managed Office service, with a market of over £500m in London alone
Instant, which provides flexible office solutions for companies all over the world, has attracted £16m capital from private equity house MML, now a minority shareholder, to support the company in achieving its ambitious growth plans. Since its inception 13 years ago, the entrepreneurial company has established offices in the USA and Australia and grown from a London-based start-up to a well established SME with nearly 100 staff today.
Chief Executive Officer Patrick Elliott, who joined last August to take the reins from Hamilton (now a non-executive director) and source external investment, said: “We are delighted to receive private equity investment from MML, because they rapidly grasped the potential of the business and we quickly felt comfortable working with them. With their support, I am confident we can accelerate Instant’s success within the ever-expanding flexible office market.
“Instant works with thousands of office providers, landlords and agents, to provide the right workplace for corporate clients, which range from the world’s largest multi-nationals – who need a tailor-made working environment for hundreds of people on a medium term basis – down to start-ups looking to establish their first proper office.
“We are seeing a just-in-time approach to business become more and more prevalent; companies are seeking efficiencies by sourcing what they need, only when they need it, so they aren’t tying up capital. Why shouldn’t this practice translate to property? We work with clients to help them build flexibility into their property portfolios.”
Instant anticipates rapid expansion within the flexible office market. In London alone, the market for bespoke managed offices – a relatively new way for companies to cost-effectively outsource the task of sourcing, fitting-out and managing office space flexibly on their behalf – is already estimated to be worth over £500m. The funding from MML will enable Instant to finance more and bigger managed office projects, for which it covers all the upfront costs for clients.
Instant expects to see major growth within its Managed Office division, established by Seb Royle and run by a strong team, including well-known industry figures Paul Bolden and John Vaughan.
Royle said: “From beginnings in 2006 in the UK construction and transport sectors, we have already proven the model’s appeal to businesses in publishing, financial services, IT, outsourcing, and oil and gas, and expect this to continue. Instant has already closed more than 40 Managed Office deals. Today, square footage under management exceeds 250,000 across 21 Instant Managed Offices. During 2012, we also opened what we believe is the first Managed Office in mainland Europe for our client Serco and their end-user, Sky.”
Bal Johal of MML commented: “We are delighted to back Patrick and his team in continuing the impressive growth the company has achieved under the entrepreneurial leadership of founder Rob Hamilton. As companies are increasingly recognising the efficiencies of outsourcing non-core services, we see Instant – and particularly its Managed Office service – as an excellent opportunity to benefit from what we anticipate will be viewed as an attractive method for sourcing office space, by more and more organisations.
“We expect there will be a shift away from the “one type suits all” approach to workplace leasing that has dominated the property industry for a very long time.”
In addition to the core Managed Office business, Instant works with over 5,000 businesses every month, to help them find flexible office solutions in more than 100 countries across the world. Instant’s global SME brokerage business is driven by Patricia Bacon, Global Sales & Strategy Director, while Lee Casbolt heads up the Corporate Solutions division, which has teams based in the UK and USA. The global market for SME and corporate advisory/broking for serviced offices is estimated to be about £130m pa currently with further growth expected, particularly across EMEA and Asia Pacific regions, but also the USA.