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Brief Published: 9 Sep 2014

Breather: Quiet Space on Demand

Breather space in New York

A Montreal-based start-up offering private "breathing spaces" on demand is set to expand across major US cities after securing $6m in venture funding.

Breather is a network of quiet private rooms in bustling cities that are rented on the go with a mobile app. Its rooms differ from conventional pay-as-you-go workspaces, which encourage buzz and collaboration.

While the spaces are well-equipped for quiet work, they are also intended to be pleasant places to take a time-out from the bustle of big cities – where visitors often have to resort to congested cafés.

Steve Schlafman – principal at RRE Ventures, the US venture capital firm that led the funding round – was initially surprised to find that freelance workers, artists, actors and travellers were looking for quiet spaces in New York City.

However, Breather now has thousands of active users making reservations every month. Its popularity is likely to be down to the fact that it offers quiet and privacy at a time when record numbers of people feel overwhelmed by their busy, connected lives.

For more on how brands can help busy consumers – whether by providing contemporary cocoons or tech-powered decompression zones – see Battling Busyness and The Quiet Space: In Search of Comfort & Tranquillity.