Co-working space giant WeWork is getting into a very distinct, narrow part of the digital signage market, acquiring a Salt Lake City company that specializes in digital meeting room signs and the usage and optimization analytics generated by that software platform.
TechCrunch is reporting that WeWork’s acquisition of Teem was done for $100 million in cash, though the terms are not in the WeWork PR.
NYC-based WeWork describes Teem, which started its operating life as Eventboard, Teem, as “a leading software platform that helps more than 2,800 customers and millions of people better utilize space and employees be more productive through advanced meeting tools (including conference room scheduling and desk reservations), detailed workplace analytics (such as tools to pinpoint under-utilized space), and ways to welcome and manage visitors.”
Those tools are indeed the special sauce of meeting room signs platforms. It’s easy for software platforms to display data from calendar systems, and dozens do that. It’s far more compelling if the platform can tell you how often rooms are booked and actually used, who the bad actors are for booking (and not using), how many people use said rooms on average, and so on. Companies can save a lot of money if they right-size their expensive meeting spaces to meet real demand, versus imagined demand.
WeWork, if the company is unfamiliar, started in 2010 building up a network of shared workspaces – a more modern take on the packaged office centers, like Regus, that have been around forever.
At WeWork, we understand the power of technology to connect space with people, whether we’re serving members in WeWork locations or supporting Powered by We clients in their spaces. Our focus has always been to create a workplace that improves productivity, encourages collaboration, and ultimately creates an engaging environment that makes people excited to come to work each day. And as we continue to evolve as a global company — rapidly expanding and diversifying our membership base — so too must our technology.
That’s why we are excited to announce WeWork is acquiring Teem, a leading software platform that helps more than 2,800 customers and millions of people better utilize space and employees be more productive through advanced meeting tools (including conference room scheduling and desk reservations), detailed workplace analytics (such as tools to pinpoint underutilized space), and ways to welcome and manage visitors.
“Acquiring Teem means bringing in a talented group of over 100 people to help us create a better, more efficient workplace experience for enterprises around the globe,” said Shiva Rajaraman, WeWork’s chief product officer. “We are committed to helping companies deliver an amazing employee experience everyday and everywhere. Teem moves us one step closer to that reality, and we are thrilled to welcome them into our WeWork family.”
Founded in 2012 by Shaun Ritchie, Zach Holmquist and Dan Caffee, the Salt Lake City-based Teem serves customers ranging from small businesses to corporations like AirBnB, Dropbox, and GE. Its platform has been integrated into many of today’s largest office products, including Office 365, Google, and Slack.
Teem will continue to operate as an independent business line, serving its current customers, while now also providing its services as part of a broader package of WeWork offerings to enterprises and Powered by We clients.
Powered by We, says the press release, extends WeWork beyond the walls of our buildings to bring our design, technology, and member services expertise to spaces belonging to large companies around the globe. With more than 30 Powered by We projects already in the pipeline, Powered by We is a natural outgrowth of WeWork’s enterprise offering for companies with more than 1,000 employees.
Is Teem a digital signage company? I could argue it either way. Most pure-play meeting room signs companies are not active in the signage ecosystem, but there are many, many digital signage software CMS companies – like Four Winds, Capital Networks, Visix and many others – that have solutions, and hardware companies like IAdea are very active with meeting room signs. So, much of the conventional signage business certainly sees meeting room signs as a line of business.
I call if the gateway drug for end-users that leads to broader usage of signage around companies.
If you look at the world this way, this acquisition would be one of the largest, ever, in digital signage.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.