World-first space sharing platform from Australia, spacenow.com, has just signed a regional partnership agreement with Dubai’s SEED Group, a group of diversified companies owned and chaired by the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum. Leading the signing was Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum and SEED Group.
Spacenow is a platform that allows property and site owners to activate and monetise their underutilised space – from studios and gardens, to wall space and event venues – and enables entrepreneurs and businesses to access that space on a long- or short-term basis, from as little as just one hour. It was created in November 2016 by four Australian entrepreneurs in the real estate, technology, finance, and creative sectors: Daniel Gunning, Barrett Ovens, Baydr Strik, and Nick Leary.
The company was born to meet the demands of the fast-moving, disruptive world of the sharing economy – a $100 billion market that is estimated to more than triple to reach $330 billion in 2025. Spacenow now operates in 52 cities globally. “We are delighted with the partnership we have founded with SEED Group Dubai to establish Spacenow’s Dubai office and roll out our expansion plan throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This will become the first multi-space, short-term rental platform in the region and we are very eager to start operation,” said Daniel Gunning, Spacenow’s CEO and Founder.
“The UAE and indeed the whole region has a great range of spaces and locations just waiting to be activated. We are proud to partner with Spacenow and support this unique platform. It is a smart initiative and marries well with Dubai’s ambition to be a model city of the future, and to continue attracting innovation and entrepreneurship to our city and our nation. Currently, there is no short-term multi-space rental platform available, despite the growing number of top global businesses based in the region and the booming number of local start-ups and entrepreneurs,” said Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum and SEED Group.
Already 1 million people worldwide use co-working spaces and by 2020, it is predicted that 40 per cent of the workforce will be freelancers, entrepreneurs, or independent contractors. But despite the huge number of offices sitting empty each year, there is not enough easily rentable space online to meet their needs.
The new partnership announced today covers Dubai and Abu Dhabi as priority markets, widening to the entire MENA region, and contributes to the initial capital raised by Spacenow, which resulted in the soft launch of the international platform in January 2018.
Dubai’s SEED Group first recognised the enormous potential of the Spacenow platform while the UAE was planning the upcoming Dubai 2020 Expo. “For the first time, a platform like Spacenow will give businesses travelling to the UAE the ability to rent office and desk space by the hour, day, week, or month. Spacenow’s business model is solid. It addresses a gap in the market and we are excited to see them expand,” says Al Gurg.
In addition to offices, Spacenow also allows users to activate any underutilised space, from studios and gardens, to wall space and event venues. SEED Group’s partnership will also facilitate the launch of the Spacenow App and the NOW Incubator Program – Spacenow’s proprietary incubation program – which will help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
“The opportunity to monetise space is limited only by imagination. Imagine renting out the walls of your retail store or foyer to an artist, or sharing your warehouse, or renting your building’s courtyard for a new product launch. With Spacenow you can list any asset for rent by the hour, day, week, month or year. If you are a new and developing fashion brand you could set up a pop-up store in many unique locations throughout the city. The Spacenow platform offers unrivalled flexibility, accessibility and affordability of desirable spaces to work, play or stay in.” said Gunning.
Spacenow will migrate its platform onto the blockchain in the coming months – this complements Dubai Government’s pursuit to become the world’s first blockchain-powered government by 2020. The move to the blockchain means a truly decentralised platform for space sharing that will provide people, the opportunity to monetise on underutilised space and be creative about it.
The blockchain will also make the Spacenow platform totally secure and transparent. Using Ethereum ERC20 smart contracts, Spacenow will take care of the difficulties associated with short-term sharing, such as legal issues, contracts, payments, and disputes, all facilitated on the blockchain, commission free. This leaves the users free to activate their spaces in new and innovative ways.
“Our decentralised model allows ideas and solutions to world problems to flow in ways the traditional economy simply cannot support. Welcome to the new era of Activated-Spaces, the Spacenow Economy. Collaborative and shared space is the future, but there is no decentralised marketplace bringing hosts and guests together without a middleman.” says Gunning.