In 2001 Google were rapidly expanding operations globally as their funding escalated. Speed to market was key for their international growth and using serviced office space to enter new markets was the quickest available route. Due to the speed of their evolving business and recruitment objectives, they needed terms which offered low risk and maximum flexibility.
In London, Google initially took a small office to accommodate three employees in the media district for a year. Additional provisions to cover headcount growth over the initial term, rights to renew, cost-certainty and break options were agreed. They were able to grow exponentially within the building, eventually becoming the anchor client while retaining the ability to re-locate at short notice. The cost of risk associated with a longer term conventional lease diminished as Google grew to a size which meant that economically it was best to re-locate to their own property. Serviced offices provided a platform for them to grow and then acquire conventional space at the right time in their business cycle. Years later, they now have a new London headquarters holding several thousand employees. Google still use serviced space strategically as they merge and acquire new businesses worldwide.