"OrderUp is perhaps the most transparent of all the food delivery apps out there today, offering constant and detailed updates from the moment you place your order to the instant it arrives on your doorstep."

-Top8, 2015

As more Baltimore startups get funding, they're looking for new offices

3/13/2015 Baltimore Business Journal/i>

The total amount of money venture capital investors put into Baltimore companies declined in 2014, but the number of companies that got funded is up.

A total of 26 companies shared $63.5 million in venture capital funding in 2014. A year earlier, $74.5 million in funding went to 15 companies. About 82 percent — $60.8 million — of the 2013 venture capital spend went to video advertising firm Videology.

That's according to a Jones Lang LaSalle's analysis of venture capital funding data from the MoneyTree report, by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. And its good news for the commercial real estate brokerage. Newly flush with cash, these startups are looking for office space in Baltimore.

"I think the big takeaway is we're seeing more companies active in fundraising and from our perspective more active in the [real estate] market," said Brad Crosley, a senior vice president with JLL.

The agency tracks market indicators like venture capital investing for insight to what kinds of companies might be looking to lease space in Baltimore. As more startups in Baltimore get funded, JLL has seen an uptick in small and midsize technology companies looking for office space in Baltimore, Crosley said.

But these young companies aren't interested in the traditional (boring) downtown offices. They want cool-looking space that features an open concept design and maybe some exposed beams.

Most often, they end up in Canton or Fells Point, where old warehouses can be renovated just enough. These neighborhoods also offer amenities, such as cute coffee shops and lunch places, that appeal to the younger crowd that typically works for startup companies.

Take online food ordering and delivery company OrderUp for example. This fast-growing startup in January moved into a new office in Canton's Can Company five times the size of its old space.

The Can Company is also home to Millennial Media, which recently moved within the building to a new space that epitomizes cool tech office, with lofts for video games, a fully stocked kitchen and neon furniture.

Well-established companies like Millennial Media and support resources, like Betamore in Federal Hill, are also helping make these neighborhoods hot spots for startups.

As more startups show interest in setting up physical offices in Baltimore, space is getting tight, Crosley said. The city will need more building renovation projects that cater to the type of space startups want.

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