As Remote Work Becomes the Norm, Codi Raises $7M to Expand to NYC, Helping Employers Downsize the Office, Eliminate the Commute, and Find Workspaces in Private Homes in Employees’ Neighborhoods

Christelle Rohaut

SAN FRANCISCO— COVID-19 has changed the way we work forever. Remote work is exploding: 50 percent of US workers currently work from home, and 72 percent of those people want to stay in a hybrid model. But many people find working from home a challenge due to a shortage of space, roommates, partners, children, and lack of work/life separation.

In response, Codi, the first company to offer daytime workspaces in private homes, announced today that it has expanded to New York, where the company is working with employers to arrange for safe, private working spaces in employees’ own neighborhoods, enabling them to walk to work and avoid long commutes.

Codi also announced that it has raised $7M in funding from several investors including NFX, Urban Innovation Fund and ANIMO Ventures. The total includes a previously announced 2018 pre-seed round of $1.65M.

Fast-growing Codi is sparking a walk-to-work movement by providing people with access to workspaces right in their neighborhoods. Companies can have dedicated Codi workspaces that exclusively serve their teams – allowing single employees or small groups to work together, locally but privately. To start, Codi is offering its service in ManhattanBrooklyn and Northern NJ. Already, Codi has lined up 100+ hosts and hundreds of members, who have access to Codi via their employers.

Suzy is one of the first NYC companies to have partnered with Codi to provide remote workspaces for its employees. After a successful pilot in Oct and Nov 2020, Suzy plans to offer Codi to all staff as an employee benefit beginning in early 2021. “There is research that shows how creativity and innovation are linked to serendipity that happens in office spaces,” said Anthony Onesto, Chief People Officer at Suzy. “When COVID hit and Suzy was one of the first companies to decide to go fully remote, we also always knew we wanted to return to that serendipity, but with extra flexibility and care around the safety of our employees. Codi is the perfect solution for us, offering workspaces that are reserved just for Suzy team members in their neighborhoods. We’re excited to return to that serendipity again with Codi, which offers a valuable benefit for our employees with an extra lens of safety and security.”

No other U.S. city has seen as large a reduction in people working in offices than New York. According to CBRE Group Inc., as of Sept. 18, only one in 10 Manhattan office workers were back, with the balance presumably working from home or elsewhere. A large impediment to returning to work has been the need to take public transportation, which many people are still avoiding due to COVID-19 concerns. Owl Labs’ 2020 State of Remote Work survey found that, post-COVID, half of respondents said they would not return to an employer that didn’t allow remote work.

Codi hosts can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars a month by sharing underutilized daytime spaces in their homes. In most cases, hosts aren’t home or have left the city, minimizing in-person interaction between hosts and Codi members. Both hosts and members are background checked, and Codi has established strict OSHA-certified health & safety protocols to keep its hosts and members safe.

According to Codi co-founder and CEO Christelle Rohaut (honored as a Forbes 30 Under 30 winner in 2020), Codi members use the service for a variety of reasons – most either have children or roommates, making finding a quiet workspace at home a challenge. Others live alone and simply need a change of scenery in order to feel productive. Members typically use Codi spaces 2-3 times a week; 90 percent use Codi spaces at least weekly.

“We founded Codi pre-pandemic as an alternative to commuting to offices or co-working spaces, which all tend to be located outside of residential areas,” said Rohaut. “Now with so many people working remotely, Codi has become even more popular – we are talking with many NYC-area employers who want to provide this new remote work option to their staff in 2021.”

James Currier, partner at NFX said, “2021 will be a banner year for Codi – so many people are working remotely, and they want to keep it that way. Codi offers the best of both worlds – a safe, private workspace with no commute. We’re excited to work with the Codi team as they expand nationally, as we think this business model represents the future of work.”