16 January 2013 – GPT Group has leapt into the Silicon Valley start-up economy with a $6 million investment in LiquidSpace, a company that provides an online platform for sourcing temporary office accommodation and meeting rooms.

The company, for which LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman provided seed funding, could be a model for a similar venture in Australia for GPT, which was searching for businesses that would fit into the emerging collaborative consumption model, as well as for ways to meet its promise to find new revenue streams for its business outside of traditional property.

GPT’s head of corporate development, Michael O’Brien, said the new venture offered traditional companies a way to save on space and increase productivity by changing the way that employees use their workspaces.

“For GPT there is a great opportunity to leverage the LiquidSpace platform as part of the property solutions we offer to our office, logistics and business park tenants,” Mr O’Brien said

LiquidSpace founder and chief executive officer Mark Gilbreath said today’s professional worker, “whether freelancer, startup entrepreneur or Fortune 500 employee, is accustomed to freedom of choice in where and how they work.”

GPT explored new ways of working in its own refurbished six star headquarters in the MLC building in Sydney’s Martin Place. See our extended case study of this project in our ebook.

GPT will also soon host a trial for a parcel pick-up locker network, created by Mark Bouris’s TZ Ltd, which will allow consumers to collect online purchases at GPT-owned properties.

GPT’s Sam Nickless who will sit on the LiquidSpace board, said in a newspaper report, that GPT had noted consumer trends towards collaborative consumption.