Flexible workspace business and certified B Corporation, x+why, has secured investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), provided by The FSE Group.
x+why will use the investment to expand in Birmingham and provide companies of all sizes – entrepreneurs, SMEs and corporates – with best-in-class, sustainable and service-led flexible workspace. A facility of nearly 30,000sqft at 103 Colmore Row will include flexible office space as well as a members’ club for all tenants offering a bar, food menu, events, meeting space and a member engagement programme.
Established in 2018, x+why currently manages six sites across the UK, with a further six in the pipeline. The company operates a unique business model in this sector, helping landlords adapt to meet the changing needs of their tenants who want a more flexible, on-demand service, whilst also providing modern and sustainable green spaces that can create positive impacts on the economy and the community.
Before Covid-19, the office was already evolving with more companies recognising it as a place for culture, mentorship and collaboration. Following the pandemic, the evolution of office spaces has accelerated as a hybrid working system is adopted. x+why sites are designed to support this whilst running programmes to champion a shift in mindset that encourages business owners to change behaviours around their purpose and culture, helping them achieve even greater success.
Rupert Dean, x+why CEO, said: “Having launched our first site in 2019, we were already leading the way with flexible premises that could meet the needs of forward-thinking businesses with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability.
“Employers are now seeking a more flexible and improved office setting to fix costs, harness hybrid working and attract employees, so our purpose is resonating stronger than ever. This MEIF investment means we can operate best-in-class space in Birmingham and enable more businesses to offer their employees a superior working environment.”
Ann Marie McFadyen, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, commented: “x+why’s strong management team has achieved a lot in a short time, despite operating in a sector heavily impacted by the pandemic.
“The business is moving towards its goal of targeting expansion into every major city in the UK. We are delighted to provide investment to support this and look forward to working with Rupert and the team as they grow the business further.”
Only around 11% of commercial real estate is currently flexible. This is growing exponentially as businesses look to keep some of the positives of Covid-19. With a stand-out offering that is ahead of its competitors in this area, x+why is well-positioned to take advantage of this growing market.
Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at British Business Bank, said: “The MEIF supports businesses with growth potential and it’s good to see creative concepts such as x+why’s unique business model creating an in-demand service for hybrid working systems using the MEIF funding options to realise their growth plans. We would encourage other innovative and sustainable businesses in the region to consider available funding.”
Anita Bhalla, Interim Chair at Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Following the height of the pandemic, many businesses have continued to work flexibly with hybrid working very common in workplaces across our region. There is also a greater need to provide greener, more sustainable offices in light of the drive to net zero.
“Adapting to changing working attitudes to ensure there is maximum productivity is critical to driving inclusive economic growth. x+why understand the needs of businesses so I congratulate them on receiving this MEIF funding.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2022 and the European Investment Bank.
The FSE Group manages a section of MEIF that provides investments between £100,000 and £1.5 million to support growing SMEs across the region. Find out more or contact Ann Marie McFadyen.