What do you do if you're a central London hotel occupying real estate worth millions, with beautiful facilities that your guests hardly ever use during the day because they are out in town?
A new generation of flexible working and co-working spaces has already emerged as an answer to the growing demand and the skyrocketing prices of the commercial properties in London. One of them involves some of the city’s high-end hotels and restaurants, who make their unused spaces available via an online platform called Spacemize.
The start-up offers different types of subscriptions and in exchange grants access to 8 leading hotels and restaurants such as the Mamounia Lounge Mayfair - turning their empty tables into a work area from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Being a very busy bar at night (The Perception Bar of the hotel), it is great to offer co-working partnerships during the day and engage with guests from all different industries and find out what established or new business owners are up to”, Dario Mazzoli, B&F manager at W Hotel said, summarizing the long-term advantages.
Salman Ullah, Smith & Whistle's manager agreed, adding the advantage of gaining access to a large number of potential clients. Both hotels expect a steady interest, after the first week W Hotel foresees “between 4 and 10 guests a day, depending on the season”, said Mazzoli.
Euronews caught up with Saeed Al Ghurair, a co-founder of the start-up, and Tzvete Doncheva, the Head of Business Development.
What gave you the idea of creating this service?
Saeed Al Ghurair: The idea came out of necessity. I’m an entrepreneur who is travelling frequently in between global capitals - I wished I had an office which matched my mobility. I am also a landlord who understands perfectly well what it is like to not be able to monetise on commercial space. Spacemize provides a solution to entrepreneurs – a productive, flexible place to work from and to luxury venues - an additional revenue stream and increased customer loyalty to the venues.
Who do you recommend this service to?
Saeed Al Ghurair: Spacemize is not solely a flexible workspace solution, but it offers members to be part of an exclusive network of innovative and inspiring individuals. I recommend it to both ambitious entrepreneurs and to the many corporate employers, who have mobile teams that are always on the go.
What are the experiences of the first week?
Tzvete Doncheva: I’ve especially noticed Spacemize being popular with female freelancers. Visitors’ feedback is very positive so far! We've already had organic referrals also. The situation reminds me of Airbnb’s first investor Paul Graham who said ‘It’s better to have 100 people love you than a million people that sort of like you’.
How many subscribers did this online platform start with?
Tzvete Doncheva: The interest keeps on growing- we went live with around 100 subscribers and expect this number to grow over 10 times by end of the year.
What services come with the subscription?
Tzvete Doncheva: A Spacemize membership grants members access to book a hotdesk across designated areas within our high-end partner venues. Additionally, users get complimentary tea and coffee, fast broadband, discounts on food and beverage at the locations. Members are also able to book meeting rooms at our partner venues on demand and at preferential rates. Additionally, we strive to create a community of entrepreneurial innovators and to be a platform for them to expand their network through motivational events. The pilot Spacemize event I am organizing is with leading UK think tank, the Entrepreneurs Network. The series is called ‘Founders Breakfasts’ and each month will be on a different topic.
Do you have any future plans for expansion already?
Saeed Al Ghurair: We’re looking to expand to Europe and the US by the end of the year.