In a city where it’s hard to escape the hubbub of coffee shops and office politics, a little peace and quiet can be priceless. That’s the idea behind a new start up called Breather, which will shortly begin offering private rooms for rental across New York. Founder and CEO, Julian Smith, says Breather aims to offer, “peace and quiet on demand,” and provide modern, stylish locations for users to catch a nap, or get on with some work free from distractions. The small rooms are also designed with the needs of an account manager, or small business owner in mind, who may want to hold informal meetings with clients away from the office.
An app for a distraction-free nap
Breather revolves around an iOS or Android app, which allows users to instantly find private spaces close to them on the map, and easily book some downtime. Containing desks, couches and high-speed Wi-Fi connections, the rooms are electronically unlocked through the press of a button within the app, and users’ credit cards are automatically charged for the exact amount of time they spend in the rooms. Breather’s dedicated team maintains the spaces, and the staff members rate how tidy users leave the rooms in order to remove troublemakers from the system. The app also allows Joe Public to rate how tidy the rooms they use are, and will automatically de-list any that fall below the standards expected.
Simple and scalable
One of the strongest aspects of the start-up is the growth potential it has. Smith believes the company’s operations are easily scalable to other cities beyond the initial targets of New York, San Francisco and Montreal, and has grand plans for the service to eventually expand to “every major city”. Smith’s research has found that just 250 active users are required to support each new location. The service is expected to launch in New York in January, following a funding round that took place in June this year. Breather raised $1.5 million in seed funding, with Real Ventures leading the investment, and Gary Vaynerchuk, and Loic Le Meur also contributing.