Rifiniti gets $1.9 million to end wasted office space for big biz

Rifiniti's founders are Michael Gresty and Irina Mladenova
Rifiniti's founders are Michael Gresty and Irina Mladenova

While the emergence of the mobile employee has created plenty of efficiencies for companies, it’s created major inefficiencies too, in terms of how office space is utilized. Today, Boston startup Rifiniti announces it has raised $1.9 million to expand its software for eliminating wasted office space.

Rifiniti said the funding was led by Nauta Capital, which has a presence in London, Boston, and Barcelona. Also investing in the round were Boston-based angel investing group Hub Angels and unnamed Boston-area angel investors.

The startup was a graduate of the 2013 MassChallenge startup program in Boston, and named one of the 26 top companies in the competition out of 128 that took part.

Rifiniti’s chief executive and co-founder, Michael Gresty, said the average Fortune 1000 company uses 3 million square feet of office space, at a cost of $200 million a year. Based on his own research and findings from others in the real estate industry, Gresty believes those large companies are only using about half of that office space.

Some of the excess space is due to typical factors such as mergers, but many companies are also “transforming their work style around mobile technologies,” he said. “Employees are less and less tethered to their work stations.”

Rifiniti has developed a variety of technologies, including proprietary algorithms, that provide companies with analytics and data about how their office space is being used. The company taps into a variety of different systems including security badge data and Wi-Fi network activity (all of which is done anonymously, Gresty said).

Rifiniti delivers the analytics to companies via a software-as-a-service model, and enables companies to quickly adapt to the changing needs of their workforce, he said.

The technology replaces a process that typically has involved putting data into Excel and creating charts — which is “all manual, clunky, and not repeatable,” Gresty said.

Paying customers

Founded in 2012, Rifiniti has three paying customers so far, all of them major corporations in IT (the company isn’t naming them for now). Together the three companies have 1.5 million square feet of real estate monitored by Rifiniti.

The startup has raised funding to bring its software to more large companies, Gresty said.

Rifiniti’s other co-founder is Irina Mladenova, and the company has a five-person team in Boston. The company is based at the MassChallenge office in South Boston until the end of the month, and expects after that to move to a new location in Boston or Cambridge. Rifiniti has now raised $2.26 million in funding to date.

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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