Meetings have traditionally been held in plain old board rooms. However, a new generation of entrepreneurs and professionals are entering the business world. And many of them may prefer something a little more interesting. That’s where Spacebase comes in.
The company provides an online booking platform for unique meeting venues. And it has expanded to markets around the world. Read on for a rundown of the platform and the company behind it.
What the Business Does
Provides a platform for renting unique meeting spaces.
CEO Julian Jost told Small Business Trends, “Spacebase is an online booking platform, which makes it easy to rent creative and unusual meeting rooms. Boring meetings are a fact of working life for many of us – but a change of space helps! At Spacebase, we think people should be able to meet somewhere that sparks innovation and boosts productivity. We bring together inspiring spaces, expert advice and professional services for whatever the work occasion. In a few clicks, users can rent stylish and modern meeting rooms with all the latest technology, alongside unique workshop and event locations – from boxing rings to river boats, rooftop terraces to eco-labs. We make booking quick and painless, so that clients all over the world can find and rent a space that suits their needs.”
Providing a huge variety of spaces.
Jost says, “One of our goals with Spacebase was to give people options. Alongside stylish meeting rooms in Manhattan lofts or Hong Kong skyscrapers, we built up our offerings by scouting new and unexpected spots in each city. Many owners had never considered their space could be of interest for short-term business rentals, until we knocked on their door! So that gave us access to many different kinds of venue and the range to cater for different segments of the MICE industry, from big-scale corporate events to the flexible needs of freelancers who have no fixed office to meet clients in.”
How the Business Got Started
After attending tons of boring meetings.
Jost explains, “The idea originally came up when I was working as a consultant. Together with my co-founder Jan, we saw how many boring meetings people had to sit through. So much time and energy was being wasted in dull rooms. We wanted to challenge this pattern and began holding our client meetings in locations away from the office. We noticed the effect straight away. People were curious, more engaged, and had more ideas to share.
“It was an exciting insight and we realised we could develop it into a business through the sharing economy – just like AirBnB did for holiday rentals. We focused on the this core problem, to connect the owners of meeting spaces with people who need those spaces for work, and then built Spacebase around that.”
Jost adds, “Last year was especially significant for us. We made big steps through acquisitions of rival companies here in Europe. In April 2019 we bought eventsofa, a competitor specialising in event locations. And that involved onboarding new employees and processes, and in October we bought a hotel specialist, Okanda. Bringing these companies together and expanding what Spacebase does, that’s an amazing feeling. We even won an award from Deloitte, as one of Germany’s fastest-growing tech companies. That felt good too.”
Expanding into the U.S. market.
Jost says, “It would have been difficult for us if things hadn’t worked out, as the market short-term rentals in New York City is so competitive, which was where we started. However, we saw an opportunity for growth and did our research and built up our contacts. Now, NYC is one of our best-performing locations. And we are growing in other US cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Austin.”
Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Jost explains, “One thing that would have made life easier would be if, back at the start, we had focused only on a few cities and then rolled out to more once we established ourselves, instead of launching in many different cities at once.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Rewarding the team.
Jost says, “We would invest it back in the team. During the long, cold Berlin winter, we could relocate our office to Cape Town, where our investor Stefan is based.”
Hosting tons of fun events.
Jost adds, “We’re a sociable, tight knit team and so enjoy planning our lunches together, taking a beer on Fridays and opening a bottle of bubbly when we hit targets. We put on wonderful events. For our Christmas party, the team had a chance to hang out while making their own candles and body scrubs (and waffles!). We also run a meditation group in the afternoons, to help staff beat the 3pm slump.”
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Hiis is great not only for focused working but also for networking. I hope that everything returns to normal soon though.