Codi lands $16 million, led by a16z, to prove that we never really actually liked co-working

We know that long-term leases aren’t the move anymore, but San Francisco–based Codi has a hotter take: neither is co-working. The company, co-founded by Christelle Rohaut and Dave Schuman, began in 2018 to create more flexible office space for companies whose employees want private, flexible workspaces.

These days, the startup’s most disruptive belief is one that disagrees with the co-working model popularized by WeWork. Unlike WeWork, which sold desk space in a shared floor to workers, Codi thinks that people want a private space to go to, just a couple days a week. The startup is a marketplace that matches companies to properties that fit their flexibility requirements. Then it helps make the move-in process go as smoothly as possible, from design to IT, to even the office snacks and cleaning services.

And, like most startups, it wants to have the best of both worlds: privacy and community, flexibility and dedicated space, scale and specialization.

Codi announced today that it has raised a $16 million Series A, led by Andreessen Horowitz. The investment occurred weeks before the firm announced that it invested in Flow, WeWork founder Adam Neumann’s next bet — both investments show the firm’s interest in a more flexible, yet turnkey future of real estate.

Rohaut is not too worried about sharing a venture backer with WeWork’s founder. A16z investment partner Jeff Jordan took a seat on Codi’s board as part of the round, while Marc Andreessen is joining Flow’s board, according to the New York Times. The firm recently announced its plans to go be a “remote-first” organization.

“A lot of our companies come from WeWork because they want to graduate from it,” Rohaut said in an interview with TechCrunch. She says that the top two priorities for companies today are first, having their own space so they can build and grow the company’s culture and customize it to fit their needs, and second, find a space for employees to go to that isn’t concentrated downtown and doesn’t require long commute times. Codi, the co-founder says, offers the best of both worlds where there’s the flexibility of working from somewhere, sometimes, and the uniqueness of private office space.

It may be true that tech workers largely do not want to go into the office five days a week anymore, but as employers try to figure out what the new in-person cadence should be, a flexible office space could also introduce its own frustration. Codi needs to convince employers that it makes more sense to go to a flexible workspace managed through Codi than to open up a smaller, independent office.

Codi claims that it has reduced the time it takes to open an office from upward of six months to four weeks. Codi is able to reduce lease lengths from 36 months to six months, with options to extend the contract if necessary. It also offers a concierge team to carry out all of its different services, which the startup claims could save tens of thousands of dollars per year.

On the real estate side, Codi doesn’t own any buildings. Instead it partners with building owners to create recurring revenue streams for properties that traditionally only would have made money from long-term tenants or an entire building scale. The co-founder declined to share specifics around the amount of customers it currently has but said that the startup has more than 100 office buildings across two regions: New York and the Bay Area.

It’s a smart pitch, with common scaling headaches to consider. For example, Codi will need to solve for shorter commute times with more and more hotspot offices for employees regardless of where they are home based. If that’s the case, the office may get more fragmented over time if trying to meet the needs of concentrations of employees. Kind of the opposite of the goals for in-person work.

There’s a common misconception between what people say they want and what people actually do. If there is one thing that hybrid work has taught us, it’s that the world changes its mind constantly. Even with a flexible lease, what happens if a startup wants to go from two days a week to five days a week for a stretch of time? It’s not necessarily Codi’s challenge to address, but it could certainly complicate the broader vision of developing flexible, private workspaces.

Codi lands $16 million, led by a16z, to prove that we never really actually liked co-working by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch

Watch the first trailer for Netflix’s Space Force starring The Office’s Steve Carell

Netflix has released the first trailer for its series Space Force, which is a parodic take on the newest branch of the U.S. armed forces. The project was announced pretty shortly after the space-focused military branch was made official, so it’s actually pretty impressive to see a trailer for what looks like a pretty polished production in such a short time – even as the actual U.S. Space Force has only just begun graduating its first cadets.

The show arrives on May 29 (coincidentally just two days after NASA and SpaceX are set to mark a return to U.S. crewed spaceflight with their first Commercial Crew astronaut demonstration mission), and stars Steve Carell alongside John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Lisa Kudrow and Ben Schwartz. If you get a distinctly ‘Office’ vibe from this trailer, then there’s a good reason for that – a lot of the creative team worked on that Carell show, too, including Office U.S. creator Greg Daniels.

It’s tempting to characterize this as ‘The Office but with space army” based on this look, but that’s probably just the powerful association of Carell with the Micheal Scott character talking.

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are starting a weekly podcast about The Office

Oh, be still my heart.

It’s not The Office reunion special/season/complete series everyone wants, but it’ll do for now: Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (… Angela) are setting up to release a podcast together.

Called “Office Ladies” (though I hope “Party Planning Committee” was at least in the running), they’re going to rewatch the show and talk about one episode each week.

It’ll be produced by the podcast hub/app Stitcher, but the company says it’ll also be on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and “anywhere podcasts are available.”

Despite having wrapped up in 2013, The Office is wildly popular right now. Much of this popularity seems to stem from it being available (and repeatedly bingeable) on Netflix, where it’s reportedly the service’s most watched show. This wave of popularity, swirled together with the stars’ own nostalgia from rewatching episodes they shot roughly a decade ago, seems like a setup for a pretty solid podcast.

The first podcast is set to ship on October 16th of this year. Alas, at one episode per week, that’ll only let them get through about a quarter of the series’ 201 episodes before it leaves Netflix in 2021 for whatever NBC’s streaming thing is going to be called.

If they’re having any of their co-stars make guest appearances, none have been announced yet — but if so, Jenna and Angela, just remember: Creed might need some editing.

NBCUniversal plans to launch its streaming service in April 2020

NBCUniversal is getting a little more specific about its streaming plans.

Variety reports that NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was on this morning’s earnings call for parent company Comcast, announcing that the NBCUniversal streaming service will launch in April 2020.

The company had previously said the service would launch in “early 2020”, and would be ad-supported with a paid, ad-free option. As part of these plans, NBCUniversal has also reclaimed the streaming rights to “The Office,” which will be leaving Netflix in January 2021.

An NBC sitcom that ended six years ago might not seem like the sturdiest foundation on which to launch yet another streamer, but “The Office” is actually Netflix’s most-watched show, according to Nielsen.  And while NBCUniversal will be investing in streaming originals, Burke said, “I would expect the vast majority of consumption in the beginning would be [of] acquired programs.”

It looks like there’s going to be a big wave of media companies  launching their streaming plays in the next year or so — Disney+ is coming on November 12, and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max (which has the rights to another of Netflix’s most popular shows, “Friends”) is scheduled to launch in spring 2020. On top of all that, Apple’s TV+ is also supposed to arrive this fall.

AT&T’s new streaming service HBO Max arrives in 2020, will be the exclusive home of ‘Friends’

AT&T’s acquisition of HBO goes beyond just offering premium TV programming – the company revealed on Tuesday that it’s going to call its new streaming service HBO Max, and that this will launch next spring, with over 10,000 hours of content available to subscribers.

It’ll have ‘Friends,’ dear readers, which is all that matters in the modern streaming wars where weirdly services compete for dominion over a couple of decade-plus-year old TV shows including ‘The Office’ and this highly-unrelatable 90s NBC sitcom.

HBO Max won’t offer exclusively HBO content, as you can probably tell by the availability fo Friends, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the naming is meant to indicate how important HBO as a TV brand is to consumers. In other words, they’re going to make the most of that purchase, even if it dilutes the actual HBO brand in the process. It’s beginning to become much more clear why HBO CEO Richard Plepler resigned in February.

The new service enters a teeming field of competitors, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix and many more I can’t even remember off the top of my head. It’s also not launching until after Apple puts live its own Apple TV+ service, and Disney+ comes online in November, and per the WSJ, it’ll cost “slightly more” than HBO’s currently $14.99 per month pricing for Go alone.

AT&T is spending on content, however, including the high purchase price for ‘Friends’ rights, as well as development deals with a number of top talents from the film and television industry, including Reese Witherspoon, Greg Berlanti and more. Future CW shows will also reside in HBO Max instead of on Netflix, which is bad news for my habit of bingeing subpar DC superhero TV including ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash.’

Steve Carell is coming to Netflix in a new comedy about the US government’s new Space Force

Steve Carell is coming back to small-screen comedy for a new Netflix series about the people tasked with creating the “Space Force” — the proposed sixth branch of the military.

Details about the new show from Carell and Greg Daniels, who was the mind behind the American version of “The Office,” are sketchy. Netflix hasn’t given any specifics about the number of episodes or potential release date.

What’s certain is that this Space Force is less likely to draw criticism and condemnation than the real proposal put forward by President Donald Trump last year.

Vice President Pence announced that the Space Force would make its debut in 2020. That could be well after Netflix gets the Carell series up and running.

The Space Force project marks the second series Carell has signed on to do with a streaming service provider. He’s also on board for the Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon-led ensemble drama about a morning TV show.