COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Catch the Asian ‘Airbnb’ of office space

It just raised US$500,000 funding at the end of 2015.

Long-term lease contracts which normally involve a 3-year lock in period, a 3-month downpayment and also 3-month advance payment can be a substantial drain on cashflow. It can be detrimental to day-to-day operations at a small business. But fret no more as startup FlySpaces offers an alternative. It addresses the need for short-term contracts with flexibility, choice, convenience and transparency.

Founded in October 2015, FlySpaces empowers businesses as a digital marketplace that provides short-term work and meeting space solutions to entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and mobile professionals. Whether the need is for an hour, a day, a week or a few months – FlySpaces has a network of hundreds of spaces to discover across key South East Asian cities.

For venue owners, FlySpaces acts as a digital marketing platform that connects you to a vast user base, allowing you to optimize and monetize your space.

“We provide the largest inventory of spaces, including all amenities and prices up front to empower our customers to find the perfect fit themselves. We want to disrupt the short term office space sector by aggregating all options and creating a easy to use plug-and-play type platform, said co-founder and CEO Mario Berta.

According to Mario, through their blog and regular newsletters, FlySpaces created a userbase of nearly 10,000 members.

The founding

Before founding his own company, Mario was a former Rocket Internet Executive at Zalora, Lazada, Easy Taxi, and Food Panda.

Mario co-founded FlySpaces with Guillaume Martin, who serves as COO. He was a former management and strategy consultant for a boutique European consulting firm, Chappuis Halder, which is focused on financial services

As a Rocket Internet executive, Mario was aggressively building new companies such as Easy Taxi and constantly looking for new office spaces. Guillaume at the time was also expanding the management consulting company he was working at into Singapore and finding it difficult to find a suitable office space. It was at that time that both were looking for more flexible options that could fit their business model and joined forces to create FlySpaces.

Mario and Guillaume first started working with space partners in Manila and Singapore to get as many on board as possible. Then with a wide inventory of spaces both by category and location they knew they were confident that they had a strong business plan and sought out venture funding. They successfully received US$500,000 seed funding from investors, which are Narra Ventures Capital, Cebuana Lhullier, ReAPra Ventures, and Future Now Ventures.

“In the time frame of 6 months, we have opened services in 3 cities (4th coming soon!), served 150 clients, and generated a total revenue of $136,000 as of March 2016. In February we made a profit, which as a tech startup is incredibly rare to be profitable after less that 6 months!,” said Mario.

Starting from Philippines before entering Singapore in January, FlySpaces plans to expand to other 3 Asian cities by end 2016 – Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok.
From 2017 and beyond, it plans to bring the product in Hong Kong and other cities in South East Asia like Vietnam, Cambodia, and others.

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