Emagispace plans to double its staff by summer’s end — and increase its revenue up to tenfold by year’s end — as the Palmer Lake-based startup expands use of its Lego-like temporary walls into offices and pop-up shops.
Much of that expansion has been financed since October by $9.26 million in venture capital from a group led by Alpha Edison, a Los Angeles-based fund that specializes in early-stage companies, and Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of Los Angeles-based United Talent Agency. The funding allowed 5-year-old Emagispace to expand its product line and move into the office and retail markets from its roots in theatrical and art gallery industries.
Emagispace also has hired as its CEO David Kirshenbaum, a commercial real estate veteran who previously was senior vice president of Hilco Real Estate’s Corporate Services Group. He also spent 15 years as an executive with two Chicago development firms.
He replaces Noel Maxam, a longtime television soap opera producer in Los Angeles who co-founded Emagispace in 2013 with his brother, Clark Maxam of Larkspur, a former entrepreneurial finance professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
“We believe this is a transformational technology and is changing interior construction to a greener, cheaper and faster assembly method,” Kirshenbaum said Monday. “Even though the real estate industry is slow to adapt, we offer faster delivery at a fraction of the cost of traditional construction, where the materials end up in a dump when the space is reconfigured. Our walls can be used as many times as needed.”
Emagispace plans to double its staff to about 30 to support sales, product development and related operations. The panels are made of medium-density, quarter-inch-thick fiber board from sawmill waste. Interconnecting blocks screwed into the fiberboard can be assembled into a wall, privacy booth for phone calls or temporary retail space in as little as 20 minutes for the booth and a few days at most for walls or kiosks.
Noel Maxam spent nearly 25 years developing the product, building his first prototype in 1989 as a college student, before he came up with a design that worked.
Colorado College was the company’s first customer, using the wall panels in its IDEA (InterDisciplinary Experimental Arts) Space in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, and the company since has sold its products to many television, theatrical and movie production companies.
Emagispace generated less than $1 million in revenue last year. But Kirshenbaum said more than $8 million in sales is expected this year throughout the U.S. and Canada, with similar growth in coming years. The company is developing its next generation of products, which will includes kits that can be used to build phone booths and “privacy pods” in offices and for temporary retail kiosks in malls, airports and other high-traffic locations, he said.
The wall components are made by three or four U.S. contract manufacturers.
“We are developing products that will cater to the evolving types of office space, including the growing use of coworking space,” Kirshenbaum said.
“Our competitors take weeks or months to manufacture, deliver and assemble their products. We deliver a greener, cheaper, faster and better product that can be used 10 or more times.”
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