Edinburgh's ‘Airbnb for businesses’ to create 15 jobs and raise £600,000

Occupyd founder Callum McPherson is seeking 600,000 to drive ambitious expansion plans. Picture: Contributed
Occupyd founder Callum McPherson is seeking 600,000 to drive ambitious expansion plans. Picture: Contributed
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An Edinburgh tech start-up dubbed “Airbnb for businesses” has launched a six-figure seed funding round to create more than a dozen jobs and accelerate product development.

Occupyd, a service which helps businesses to match their unused premises with small companies seeking more affordable or flexible workspace, is seeking £600,000 to drive its ambitious growth plans.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Council hit with bill for Airbnb style flats which are 'hollowing out communities'

Its model allows business owners to generate income from vacant spaces, while providing workspace with minimal financial commitment to start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The start-up has already secured half of its target sum and aims to source the remainder over the next two months to boost product development and support delivery of its sales and marketing strategy. It also intends to create up to 15 jobs.

Occupyd has ambitious plans to operate globally, beginning with its launch in London this month, followed by New York in early 2020.

Founder Callum McPherson, who is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entrepreneur Accelerator, previously secured £50,000 to build Occupyd’s online platform, which now has listings across the UK.

The business is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK and currently supports companies in the food and drink, hairdressing, beauty salons and workshop industries.

McPherson said: “We facilitate connections between businesses that need space to work and businesses that have more space than they need, so that both can thrive and grow.

“This new round of funding will enable us to develop the platform further and increase collaboration between businesses.”

He added that being part of the RBS accelerator had helped to drive forward the investment round.

Stuart Dearden, entrepreneur development manager at RBS, said: “Callum is a shining example of the businesses who come through our accelerator programme and his ambitions for Occupyd over the next 12 months will help other start-ups and SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] on their journey to growth.”