Three South African entrepreneurs recently launched an app that connects people to places to work, collaborate and network. Called Airbase, the app aims to give users the flexibility to work away from work and to go where their business takes them.
Jason de Villiers, co-founder of Airbase comments: “We identified a need in the market for collaborative workspace facilities that are easily accessible to users. Airbase brings this together. It removes the 'search for space' hassle for the user, whilst at the same time providing the facility owners with a way to monetise their spare space with maximum ease and flexibility.”
According to the Q3, 2017 Office Vacancy Report by the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), the national office vacancy rate is around 11% and rental growth has slowed over the past year. A recent blog post on Office Vibe states that by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, temps and independent contractors and that 50% of people report higher incomes when using a shared work space.
“Flexibility in terms of workplace is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity,” De Villiers says.
Across the globe, technology is driving change in the workspace and Airbase takes the ‘future workplace’ into consideration. Airbase users are able to filter the workspaces available on the app to fit their geographic locations at any point in time, their budgets, and specific requirements for services. They match their immediate office needs with what Airbase has on offer, as they need it.
De Villiers concludes, “We are really pleased with progress to date. The response from facility owners has been enormously positive. In less than three months, we have secured close to 25 facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which shows we are providing something that meets a real market need. These facilities are immediately available to our users and we are in the process of loading spaces in Durban as well. Our plan is to increase the number of properties on the platform to 100 in 2018, providing maximum coverage and flexibility to our users in the major metropolitan areas across the country. Sub-Saharan Africa is our next step.”
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