The HqO Experience: Everyone’s Workplace, but Better
Workplace experiences are the latest trend among countless businesses and yet - not everyone has boarded the innovation train. Interestingly, the root of every quality workplace or commercial venue starts with a respective building. And no one combines buildings with flair and working experiences quite like HqO.
Designed by four curious masterminds, HqO is a remarkable company that pays special focus on the quality of a work setting and the overall satisfaction of its employees and management. HqO is the global partner of all businesses that want to adopt customer-oriented workplace experiences.
Be it for property businesses looking for the perfect venue to run things from or individuals trying to maximize their workplace efforts, HqO commands and operates through a dynamic “live, work, play” concept that turns dull environments into fruitful playgrounds.
Stay tuned for the incredible story of how Chase Garbarino, Greg Gomer, Jared Stenquist, and Kevin Mccarthy HqO came closer to the industry throne - with every intention of earning their seats there.
Reshaping the Commercial Real Estate World
Chase Garbarino grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Since fifth grade, he got interested in selling and building a business with games. Whilst he was in college, Chase got interested in digital media, primarily in software pieces of user-generated content. While most students were interested more in watching humorous videos, Chase and his friend were interested in how the software works and how to scale content.
Chase launched a few businesses during college, and with the wish to prove how technology drives the world, HqO came into function. Having a good fund of knowledge about commercial real estate and the marketplace made them ready for this challenge. Today admits that he enjoys doing business more than classroom work. And as Chase also loves to say, he was never lucky to have a "real job."
Chase Garbino has a B.A. from Hamilton College and launched his first company American Inno after graduation, together with Greg Gomer. Both Greg and Chase enjoyed great success with their platform and shared passion for developing technology that connects people. Ultimately, these brainstorming sessions would bring about the idea of creating HqO.
The other co-founders of the platform are Jared Stenquist who holds a B.A. degree in Communication but worked as a firefighter for three years and Kevin Mccarthy, who holds a B.A. degree in Chemistry, somehow found his path into the software realm.
A Platform is Born
In 2018, Chase, Greg, Kevin, and Jared all joined forces to launch HqO as a platform that “blends the physical and digital office experiences.” HqO is the first end-to-end commercial real estate operating system. They help all those teams that face difficulties with technology tools by providing real human interaction. HqO's primary goal is to provide services to enable technologies from the real world.
They build end-to-end operating systems for buildings to provide a technology-enabled workplace with all the digital tools. While in their 20s, the HqO team got into the business a bit naively and of course, made some mistakes that ultimately lit their way forward.
At the beginning of their previous businesses, they got lucky in hiring a superb staff. But, as the businesses expanded, their employer's culture suffered, so they had to learn from their mistakes and focus deeply on fixing their company spirit.
At first sight, their company values seemed non-impactful and generic; however, they adapted all values and proved that these values worked as the pandemic year started. This strategy kept the workplace alive and saved them from the shift period from on-site to remote jobs.
Even more, the company’s interest in commercial real estate and technology motivated the team to move further and become more passionate about growing the business.
Back on Their Feet
Becoming an entrepreneur was not easy for all founders - they faced running out of money, lost customers, as well as sales. As every good business story begins without money, so did this. While running on a small amount of money, Chase invested in learning the commercial real estate business and decided to continue this path realizing that selling technology to landlords might be a good idea.
Chase gathered the right people, chose the best timing, and got the courage to start immediately with the first client. In a couple of months, HqO got three clients and earned the needed investments to get HqO on its feet. They provided 24/7 flexible workspace on PCs and mobile devices with access to retail, amenities, programming, and property operations.
Promoting HqO as new in the marketplace was not as straightforward as it seemed. With the help of their clients, HqO organized webinars and offered co-marketing materials to engage new prospective clients. HqO's employers share their inspirational stories on social media and organize giveaways in a unique way that engages more users each day.
As an extra effort, the company recently even organized its official podcast that features guests from the company and other experts that can touch upon the issue. Each conversation on this podcast shows the impacts that HqO can achieve and focuses on building the industry up with the right tools at hand.
Upkeeping the Financial Stability
Just a few months had passed before HqO garnered the first investors. In September, eight investors raised $6.6M with Accomplice as a lead investor. Soon after, in June 2019, the same number of investors raised another $6M. 2019 ended well for HqO, and at its end, Insight Partners contributed to raising $34.3M - as lead investors.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the platform’s funds were at a status quo, and no other funding was made until April 2021, when ten investors raised $60M. Overall, in only six rounds, HqO has raised $106.9M. HqO has 23 investors in total, including Suffolk Capital and Pagliuca Family Office. After the Series C investing round, HqO closed the last funding round in 2021. HqO managed to triple its revenue in only 12 months and expand outside Boston.
Since all four founders had owned a few businesses before launching HqO, they were a step ahead in managing a company, obtaining funds, and navigating their platform towards success. In fact, HqO's culture is guided by the values of "Let's Go" - Learning, Excellence, Truth, Speed, Goodness, and Ownership.
Never Stop Dreaming
HqO is a company that thinks forward to creating a broader community. Through the years, HqO has started social responsibility initiatives and elevated volunteering. In the most brutal year, 2020, they delivered local support to many families during the pandemic. Their hard times while developing businesses and becoming successful entrepreneurs gave them the idea to teach these skills to young students in Boston.
HqO managed to stay out from the crowd by delivering unique services that build strong relationships between prospective and current tenants. Nowadays, HqO has more than 100 users and up to 200 employers.
The team who stood behind the platform since 2018 transformed the way people connect with each other and maintained a presence across 25 countries. Before the pandemic, HqO predicted 5-10 years to create a digital shift in commercial real estate.
However, since offices need to evolve and provide dynamic and flexible nature for collaboration, especially after the COVID crisis, the future shines bright for HqO and its creative team, and today, the real estate world is pretty much their oyster.