Legal Name: Jabbrrbox LLC
Location: New York City, New York
Founder(s): Brian Hackathorn, Jeremy Jennings
Social Media: 232 followers on Twitter, 222 followers on LinkedIn
Industry: Global Mobile Workforce
Size: $1.52B in 2017 (Source: Strategy Analytics)
Future: $1.88B in 2023 (Source: Strategy Analytics)
Remote work is on the rise. And one of the things that really irks mobile workers is the unavailability of a clean and connected workspace to conduct business in peace.
Brian Hackathorn, CEO and co-founder Jabbrrbox said in a press note. “More and more people are becoming mobile, working from home or in-between places, and we are often challenged. We need Wi-Fi, power, privacy and a quiet space.”
Jabbrbox offers just the solution. It has a network of work booths, across the city, that anyone can rent for up to three hours. Users can conduct a business call or get some important powerpoint completed, while moving between meetings or during flight layovers, at this workspace. And best of all, it is available at a fraction of the cost of shared workspaces.
This “Space as Service” IoT work booth can be found in public squares, airports, train stations etc.
JabbrrX is an on-demand private workspace with Wi-Fi, USB charging, mood lighting, flight trackers and audio speakers. This well-ventilated box can be rented out at $15 for 30 minutes and $30 for an hour.
The workplace solutions company also has an app that makes it possible to remotely find, reserve and unlock these booths. Upon reservation, each individual receives a door code and wifi password.
New York’s LaGuardia Airport (February 2018), Merchandise Mart in Chicago (June 2018) and JFK International Air Terminal (February 2019) are some of the locations that have setup Jabbrrboxes.
The startup also offers discounts on the booth to members of the airport lounge-access program, Priority Pass.
Origin and Founding Team
As is the case with most startups, Jabbrrbox was born out of a personal need faced by the founders. It started with Hackathorn, a former Associate Principal at Studios Architecture, not finding space to make confidential calls in between meetings. He felt that working out of a coffee shop ended up being too distracting and lacked any degree of privacy.
“Starbucks works short term, until you need to make a phone call. My background is designing for how people work within the office, but I started to wonder how they could be productive outside the office and came up with this idea of a modern-day phone booth.” he said to the Financial Times.
This is when Hackathorn thought up the concept of “reservable eco-system of private spaces.”
Together with his friend Jeremy Jennings, an entrepreneur who has worked with several Fortune 500 businesses, Hackathorn began developing the design of the booth.
But soon, they realized that creating this easy-to-use, reliable technology, from scratch, would take years and a lot of money – as told to Crain’s New York.
So, they began selling the “no-tech” booth, as a piece of furniture, to open-plan offices where employees can discuss confidential matters. These workspaces can be customized to suit buyers’ preferences, in terms of exterior color, interior textile and so on. And Jabbrrbox sells the one-seater variant for $13,500 and a two-seater version for $24,000. Sales from these booths brought in revenue that funded the technology development costs.
As soon as the technology was ready, the Jabbrrbox team started plugging it into airports, starting with a pilot at LaGuardia Airport. “We started looking at the airport demographic, as one of the largest places of our captured audience, a mobile worker, a professional traveler that’s always on the go,” Hackathorn said.
And thus, operation Jabbrrbox was officially initiated.
It went on to win Gold in the Workplace Technologies category at the prestigious Best of NeoCon Competition in Jun 2018. And in September 2018, it secured an undisclosed pre seed funding from Metaprop NYC and HalfCourt VC, according to Crunchbase.
Performance and Trends
Jabbrrbox makes money by following a licensing business model. The startup retains ownership of every booth and offers partners, such as malls or airports, a monthly percentage of revenue generated.
CNBC’s NBR business reports that 200 Jabbrrboxes (two and five million dollars worth) have been sold so far. And that the startup has made $2.5M in revenue. They hope to sell 200 more boxes in 2019.
It is estimated that the startup will generate revenue of $12Mn to $20Mn in 2019. Most of it is expected to come from demand for unplugged privacy work booths. But the founders believe that this trend will soon change.
In three years, Jennings told Crain’s New York that he hopes revenues will be bumped up to “over $100 million with international expansion.”
They expect significant revenues to come from airports. 25 airports are likely to be fitted with the booths by the end of 2019.
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