Whether you’re in the process of putting your startup together or have been in business for several months, you’ll need your own working spce. Sure, you can work from home (which contains more distractions than it should) or sign several year-long leases, but what if your startup doesn’t survive more than a few months? Enter Spritzed, the startup that’s aiming to help other startups find flexible workspace.
Spritzed is an online marketplace and facilitator of unused office space. The startup allows coworking space owners, serviced office managers, and even tenants who have under-utilised office space to list and monetise their space. In return, possible tenants are able to easily find the kind of space that works for them. This, in turn, helps startups to better manage their own expectations of growth and cash-flow.
The company’s emphasis, says co-founder and CEO Alex Gabriels, is on listing flexible workspace. “Signing a 3-year lease doesn’t make sense if you’re not even sure you’ll be around in 6 months time. Your workspace needs to be as fluid and as flexible as your business.”
Each office’s listing page includes a blurb about the space, pricing, availability, and pictures. Owners are also able to state if the office comes with internet, parking, furniture, if it’s wheelchair accessible, and a range of other features.
The startup was founded by Gabriels, CTO Jade Venter, along with Justinus Adriaanse who is an advisor and holds a minority stake in Spritzed.
Venter holds a Bachelor of science and a Masters of science in artificial intelligence and worked at Nedbank Capital, while Gabriels previously worked in FNB’s corporate banking sector and holds a Bachelor of commerce (honours) and Masters of business administration.
It launched on 10 October and Gabriels says both founders have been hard at work adding properties to the site for the past few days. So far, they are listing over 45 000sqm worth of property for potential tenants. Spritzed is headquartered in Johannesburg and has been built to facilitate the entire country. Even with this massive scope, the pair doesn’t have any plans to expand into other countries yet.
Gabriels says the idea came to him from looking at AirBnB and how their business model worked. “Naturally I thought about applying the concept to office space.”
The founders are aware that the business model may seem simplistic but are confident in the services they offer.
“In some regards, our platform can be considered simply as a classic online marketplace play, matching high demand with untapped capacity, with the least friction possible. However, it’s our emphasis on understanding the specific needs of startups that makes us stand out from other property marketplaces,” says Gabriels.
The core financial model is commission-based with Spritzed taking 10% commission of the rental of a successfully placed entrepreneur.
To date, the company has been entirely bootstrapped with around R150 000 going into launching the company. Gabriel says that they wouldn’t look at raising any funds until the business model (and thus their startup) has been proven.