The Urban Innovation Fund, which is led by managing partners Julie Lein and Clara Brenner, backs a company co-founded and led by Christelle Rohaut that is offering daytime workspaces in private homes. Codi raised $7 million from a group that also included NFX and ANIMO Ventures.
Based in San Francisco, Codi works with employers to arrange safe, private working spaces in employees’ own neighborhoods – thus enabling them to walk to work and avoid lengthy commutes. The company is seeking to provide a solution to those who find it challenging to work from their own homes as a result of roommates, partners, children and a lack of space and work/life separation. Codi is starting out by offering its service in Manhattan, Brooklyn and northern New Jersey. It has lined up more than 100 hosts and hundreds of members. Hosts can potentially earn hundreds to thousands of dollars a month by sharing underutilized daytime spaces in their homes. In most cases, hosts aren’t home or have left the city, minimizing in-person interaction between hosts and Codi members. Both hosts and members are background checked, and Codi has established strict OSHA-certified health and safety protocols to keep its hosts and members safe.
Earlier this year, the Urban Innovation Fund invested in Grain, which is focused on helping individuals build and repair their credit. The Urban Innovation Fund provides early stage capital and regulatory support for startups that have the potential to transform the lives of those living in cities. The firm grew out of Julie and Clara’s work in starting Tumml, a nonprofit startup accelerator that also works with companies tacking urban challenges.
The Urban Innovation Fund’s investments also include Ride Report, which is trying to make it easier for providers of bikes, scooters and small electric vehicles to operate; Ethic, an asset management platform providing sustainable solutions for wealth advisors and institutional investors; Milk Stork, a breast milk shipping company whose co-founder and CEO is Kate Torgersen; Voatz, which is seeking to improve the voting process; and Valor Water Analytics, whose founder is Christine Boyle.