Spacehop is an online platform enabling homeowners to offer their residential property to professionals and small businesses for office and work purposes during the day.
Spacehop customers (hoppers) will benefit by having a greater flexibility in terms of
- Office cost
- Time required
- Accessibility and location
A labour force survey estimated there to be 1.56 million freelance workers in the UK in 2011, representing a 12% rise on the 3 preceding years. The freelance population continues to grow at 3.5% percent per annum and Researchers have predicted half the working population could be self-employed freelance professionals by 2020 if this growth continues.
In terms of where they perform their day to day work they have four options: the traditional office, the home office, coworking offices and third spaces – coffee shops, libraries etc.
CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate service, highlighted a ‘gap’ in the market, inferring that no office place exists designed specifically to enable work that is convenient, flexible and easily accessible. They also report a change in the way work is done, driven by a growing societal expectation for a greater work-life balance, ubiquitous mobile and social technologies, and a pressure on businesses to control their real estate costs.
Spacehop is the office space revolution that aims to close the ‘gap’ highlighted by CBRE offering independent workers greater flexibility in terms of office cost, time needed, accessibility and location.
Coworking offices are the closest established alternative to Spacehop. Overall the coworking concept has been a success story with nine out of ten coworking spaces looking to increase facilities and memberships in the coming years. However we believe coworking downsides include; high costs, the majority of these facilities require the user to purchase a minimum-hours access, monthly fees or a rolling contract. A DeskMag survey of non coworkers reported that one third of independent workers had not joined because facilities did not exist in close proximity. In addition the noisy work environment and occasional interruptions may discourage many from using the service in our opinion.
Spacehop aims to attract freelance professionals currently working at home and in the coworking offices, transitioning to using Spacehop offices as their preferred place of work.
To ensure all our users can enjoy these benefits without any negative repercussions the Spacehop team has secured group insurance cover to protect our homeowners in the event of accidental damage or theft of their property. This niche policy will be provided by Hiscox UK. In addition to our tailored insurance policy we will have an identity verification and reviews system that will allow for trusted relationships to form between homeowner and hopper.
The web application will go live in October 2015.
History of the Company
Spacehop as a concept arose from the realisation that the sharing economy had not yet been moulded to cater for the office space market. The sharing economy is a class of economic arrangements in which participants share access to products or services, its emergence has occurred as a result of advances in information technology and social media. Research conducted by PWC estimated the sharing economy will be worth $335 billion by 2025.
Furthermore as residents of London we are also aware of the continued rise in the price of renting and purchase of properties in the city. It makes sense that homeowners, should they wish to, be able to let out their rooms (which lie empty and unutilised during the daytime) as office space to professional workers and in doing so generate a second income. The willingness of Londoners to give up their home to be used by guests is demonstrated by the fact that there are more than 23,000 Airbnb listings in London alone after only 7 years of existence.
Use of Funding
The investment raised will be used primarily for product development and to support operating costs before the business is self-sustaining.
No director salaries will be drawn. We plan to build a mobile application to work congruously with our Spacehop web app. A percentage of the funding will be reserved for marketing objectives key to a successful launch in London.