We sat down with COO, Matt Gilbert of 500Friends to learn more about his company and chat about his experiences while taking office space at TechSpace San Francisco.
TechSpace: Tell us about 500Friends. When were you founded and where are you today?
Matt: 500friends was founded in 2010 to deliver a SaaS loyalty and retention marketing solution to the retail category. We are a graduate of Y‐Combinator and prior to being acquired by Merkle Inc in November of 2014, we raised two rounds of venture from Crosslink Capital and Intel Capital. Today we are the Loyalty Solutions Group of Merkle and our technology powers the loyalty programs of over 50 leading omni-‐channel retailers including Kiehl’s and 1‐800-Flowers.
TechSace: If you had to describe your company’s core value in 30 seconds or less, what would you say?
Matt: We will help you maximize the profitability of your customer relationships.
TechSpace: What drew you to a flexible office solution like TechSpace?
Matt: We had just subleased our prior space and were struggling to find anew home in the overheated San Francisco market. Our broker suggested we consider TechSpace as temporary solution while we continued our search.
TechSpace: What are the biggest benefits to working out of TechSpace?
Matt: Great staff. Drew and her team really made an effort to make our stay both productive and enjoyable for the team. The Union Square location was highly attractive to the team. Proximity to transportation and dining were bigsellers.
TechSpace: When you first started at TechSpace, what was your initial reaction?
Matt: Given that 500friends was a little more mature than a typical TechSpace member, we had some initial skepticism. However, it really turned out to be a perfect option for us.
TechSpace: As you look back on your time at TechSpace, what are three things you found brought the most value to your business?
Matt: A happy team is a productive team and our team really enjoyed their time at Techspace. The physical space allowed us to work collaboratively and the Techspace team worked hard to ensure we were well taken care of.
TechSpace: What did you most enjoy about working from TechSpace San Francisco?
Matt: There was an energy in the space. Put that many motivated entrepreneurs in a setting like TechSpace and it’s hard to ignore the excitement in the building!
TechSpace: What advice would you give small to medium size businesses about working from a shared office space like TechSpace?
Matt: Shared space can be a compelling option for young companies looking to be in a highly desirable location, in a space with the combined energy of entrepreneurs working to build their businesses. Our time here was a pleasure and we will happily recommend it to others considering TechSpace as an option.