Inside the colourful Liberty Village offices of Koho
What: Fintech start-up Koho’s candy-coloured head office
Where: King and Dufferin
Size: 12,000 square feet
In October 2017, fintech company Koho left Vancouver for Toronto. The start-up, which offers fee-free reloadable Visa cards and a smartphone app that tracks personal spending, was looking to tap into the city’s deep well of tech talent.
Over the course of eight months at the tech incubator OneEleven, the company grew from 13 employees to nearly 70 (plus five dogs). It was time to find a more permanent office space.
Last July, Koho took over a floor in a former carpet factory. The space had previously been leased to an insurance company. The first thing they did was nix the corporate reception desk. “We’re not hierarchical, so we wanted the entrance to feel more like a lobby or a living room,” says Tanya Black, a communications strategist at Koho.
The office has everyone mixed together. CEO Daniel Eberhard breathes the same air as the CTO, marketing team and developers, all of whom are spread between two clumps of desks, one by the east-facing windows, the other by the west-facing windows. Everyone gets a Three H standing desk and an ergonomic Freeway chair. (Kneeling chairs and exercise balls are also available.) Each employee is allotted a personal budget to buy anything they’d like for their space, like plants, cushions or artwork.
Here’s the exterior:
The office, designed by Daiva Taitz, is full of various breakout spaces enlivened with jolts of colour:
This is the wellness room. There are yoga mats and foam rollers in here, as well as some lounge chairs:
There are scooters and skateboards scattered around the office. This particular scooter punk is none other than CEO Daniel Eberhard:
The glass-encased boardroom is a multi-use space. It has served as a temporary yoga studio, and it was recently the setting for a wine-powered tax filing party (Koho has an in-house financial coach for employees). The live-edge table seats 10. Although the walls were clean for our visit, staff often use dry erase markers on the glass:
There’s a lounge area with magazines, board games, Ping-Pong and foosball:
Here’s another view of the lounge:
The kitchen is always full of snacks (chips, granola bars, fruit and chocolates), and it has two coffee machines. The Bezzera Matrix is CTO Kris Hansen’s baby (he’s a coffee nut). There’s also an automatic coffee machine, an Innovation Total Lite, for employees who don’t want to to pull their own espresso. Both Pilot and Balzac coffee beans are on offer. There’s even a small bar (the stock includes a bottle of Lucid absinthe):
This is Ruby Tuesday. She loves playing fetch, but hates Ping-Pong: