Interview with Thomas Kessler, CEO of Locatee

Thomas Kessler, CEO of Locatee

Locatee is the leading Workplace Analytics solution that transforms complex data into space utilisation insights and we were lucky enough to speak to their CEO, Thomas Kessler to find out all things Locatee…


Why did you start Locatee? 

The concept for Locatee was developed whilst I was working for a large international bank. Although the company had a smart working environment with activity-based workspaces for collaboration, there were many processes for managing the space that simply didn’t make sense. 

For example, students would periodically come into the office to manually record the occupancy of the workstations. It turned out that the bank’s real estate team wanted to know whether the office spaces were being optimally used, and they had no other methods of checking other than laboriously counting by hand. 

At the same time my co-founder and CTO Benedikt Koeppel was experiencing similar inefficiencies in his workplace. As his colleagues had no fixed desks, Benedikt was constantly being asked where they could be found in the building. We got talking one day and realised that we were both experiencing the same pain points, and decided to figure out a way to utilise a company’s existing infrastructure and device signals to create a technological solution to the problem. 


What makes Locatee unique?   

Locatee is the only office occupancy analytics solution on the market that is “data-agnostic”. This means that we can extract occupancy data using the existing IT infrastructure of an organisation; whether they use LAN, Wi-Fi, or sensors. There are no additional hardware costs to using our technology, and we can get started right away. 

The way we process data is also unique, and we have patented the technology that Locatee uses to determine the location of a work device within a company’s premises.




What business problems does Locatee solve?   

Locatee helps corporate real estate managers make better decisions with data to support them. Previously, many in the corporate real estate industry have had to make decisions based on opinion and gut feeling alone.  

Locatee’s analytics help corporate real estate managers quantify their proposals and answer questions such as whether they should downsize their portfolio to save costs, if it’s the right time to terminate a lease, or whether to help determine occupancy levels or determine the size of new acquisitions. 

We can also keep workplace managers informed on whether or not their offices are compliant with new Covid rules, including social distancing and occupancy levels.


What have you learnt throughout the process of growing Locatee?  

I’ve learnt that there are many scenarios where a product could potentially be used, but that doesn’t make it useful. Tech companies need to make sure they’re not distracted by what they could do, but rather strive to understand the problem they’re trying to solve for others. It’s a lot about understanding pain points; I speak extensively with the corporate real estate managers who use our products, and what they need sometimes is not what we initially think they need. 


What are your plans for the future? 

We’re currently growing at a fast pace and looking to expand our presence in the US.  We’re also continuously developing our product to keep up with the expanding role of corporate real estate management. For example, our most recent update includes new features that allow managers to easily spot sites with high occupancy or utilisation rates so that they can adapt their return-to-office guidelines during the pandemic.