Introducing the API that unlocks flexible work

The transformational impact of Valve’s Booking API on the workspace ecosystem

5 min readMay 22, 2023

Have you ever questioned why there isn’t a workspace equivalent of Uber, Airbnb, or that everyone relies on?

The answer lies within the very essence of what the Valve API brings to the global landscape.

A massive digital transformation is underway in the flexible workspace market, fostering an ecosystem of dynamic global partners. The industry is evolving rapidly, but sustainable growth starts with a solid foundation.

The next step in the sector’s evolution will require standardization. A new digital layer that will allow it to turn a corner and reach its full potential, expanding and transitioning from fragmented to tightly integrated.

However, before we delve into its inner workings, let’s take a step back and examine the current state of workspace evolution.

According to Facts & Factors’ latest report, the global flexible office market is booming, projected to hit a revenue of over $201.28 billion by 2030.

With so much going on in flex — growth, new players, new strategies — it’s essential to understand how we got here. So let’s start with a brief overview of this seemingly complex flex ecosystem.

Flex 1.0: A star is born

Founded in 2010, WeWork triggered the emergence of a new office space segment: Workspaces that don’t require a 15-year lease and long-term commitment.

The company’s progressive approach didn’t create the demand for flexible working conditions–it unleashed it, bringing about a massive spike in the supply of flexible office space, hence, Flex 1.0.

Seeking to bank on WeWork’s success at the time, numerous players replicated its playbook. Over the next decade, companies designed new workspaces and innovated on the supply side. They offered shorter leases, simplified contract legalese, and introduced amenities previously available only to Silicon Valley workers.

Statistics compiled from numerous reports indicated a clear trajectory:

With an annual expansion rate of 20% in global cities, flexible workspaces took over the world — both on the supply and demand sides.

Already by 2019, coworking spaces worldwide reached 35,000 units or 521 million square feet. No matter how you call it — coworking, Workspace-as-a-Service, shared, or on-demand office space — flexible work environments have become mainstream.

Flex 2.0: Growing vertically

The highly competitive market meant customers needed a better way to discover options across an expansive network of locations. And so, the industry’s abundance problem spawned Flex 2.0 with a new industry category: Booking platforms that aggregated the growing supply of flex workspace, enabling individuals and large corporations to access available offerings at scale.

A critical tool for COOs, people ops, and team leaders, these online platforms played a crucial part in accelerating the adoption of on-demand workspace across the corporate world.

Matching the familiar experience of booking a stay on Airbnb or a flight ticket via, booking platforms compiled vast databases and created a one-stop shop where companies could discover and book spaces, allowing employees new-found flexibility.

The market proliferated, with newly-funded contenders like Upflex, Desana, and Gable challenging established players such as The Instant Group and LiquidSpace.

But then the world came to an unexpected halt.

Make hybrid work

Covid-19 has had a profound effect on life– not least on the way we perceive work. The pandemic accelerated burgeoning trends, like the rise of remote work and coworking spaces, redefining hybrid workplace arrangements as the new normal among office workers worldwide.

In 2022, a Gallup study found that 53% of the 60 million Americans able to work remotely prefer a hybrid work environment. In fact, 9 out of 10 employees would look for a new job if their employer stopped offering a flexible arrangement. The trend is not exclusive to the US and shows no sign of slowing.

As businesses emerged from the pandemic into a global downturn, uncertainty refueled the demand for flexible leases, with flexible office providers experiencing a steady increase in occupancy rates.

The universal embrace of these decentralized arrangements and distributed teams cemented booking platforms’ value proposition — they had a solution that would make hybrid work.

Growing pains

Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between supply and demand, booking platforms began scaling, quickly producing new steady revenue streams for operators.

But the platforms’ success and the growing adoption of flex workspace accentuated a fundamental pain point: Delivering frictionless consumer experience requires real-time sync of available inventory.

Imagine the following scenario: An employee books a workspace through platform X and arrives at location Y only to find their meeting room has been double-booked via platform Z. Now think of the alternative, truly seamless experience: Users book a workspace on any platform and show up at their chosen location, knowing they can get to work immediately.

The industry’s growth potential depends on a transparent, interconnected, and synchronized flow of information between platforms and operators via a global standard that guarantees smooth operations.

A quick look back

The travel industry faced and solved a similar challenge decades ago. Travel service providers (airlines, hotels, car rentals, etc.) managed to streamline and digitize the booking process, efficiently connecting supply with demand to make customers’ lives easier.

The key was global distribution systems–Sabre, Galileo, and later Amadeus–that linked all stakeholders, facilitating frictionless transactions across the travel space.

Nowadays, platforms like and Expedia serve both end users and suppliers. The former gain easy, fast, and reliable access to endless offerings, while the latter can sell their “inventory,” maximize booking, and generate higher revenues.

A new global standard

Now, Valve is digitizing workspace transactions via its instant booking API: This critical infrastructure enables any platform that wants to offer its users a built-in option to book workspaces the ability to leverage the Valve instant booking API.

Valve’s technology integrates the fragmented flex ecosystem under a common system that benefits all parties, laying a robust foundation that invites new players to tap into global flex inventory.

This API will unlock further growth, connecting supply and demand and introducing streamlined and transparent flexible workspace discovery, transaction, and usage across the market:

  • On the supply side, traditional landlords and coworking operators share their inventory through a single application and gain access to a growing network of channel partners.
  • On the demand side, brokerages and on-demand platforms can access this data and offer their clients the best options across over 14,000 global workspaces.
Disclaimer: Company logos shown here are for illustrative purposes only

Valve assures an overall win-win situation:

  • Workspace operators can maximize sales, leverage new customer acquisition channels, and avoid the manual headache associated with managing multiple platforms.
  • On-demand Apps and Enterprise Platforms providing business services (travel, HR, finance, etc.) can plug into the Valve API and extend their offering.
  • Brokerages can focus on negotiating the best deals for their clients instead of endlessly researching the opaque and quickly changing market.

Valve powers the marketing, sales, and distribution required for Flex 3.0 and delivers fast, reliable data that bridges supply and demand to drive more bookings.

Already partnering with the largest strategic landlords, brokerages, and on-demand platforms, Valve continues to support the industry’s leap into the future.

Learn more about how Valve’s platform unlocks the opportunities for rapid growth on our website. We are hiring a new API & Platform sales team, so visit out careers section or reach out to for more information.




Powering global sales, marketing and distribution for flexible workspace.