This App Targets People Looking For A Flexible Workspace Near Their Home
SINGAPORE – Singapore-based startup Deskimo is poised to roll out a mobile application that allows workers and companies to choose from a curated list of flexible workspaces, particularly those near the residence of employees, according to reports by Tech Crunch and Tech in Asia that were published on Thursday (15 July, SGT).
According to the startup’s founders, the Deskimo app’s main rivals aren’t coworking space operators like WeWork nor hot desk booking apps such as Switch, Flydesk, Booqed, and WorkBuddy.
Instead, its competing with major F&B chains like Starbucks as these are easier to find for its target market, which are staff who typically work from home (WFH), but occasionally need a suitable workplace to take part in online meetings or do work in a peaceful environment free from the distractions at their home.
Notably, the startup transacts with employers, who then offer the app to their staff. Each employee gets a monthly budget on Deskimo, and their companies are only billed for the time spent on a particular workspace. The app generates a QR code so that staff of an employer can access a workspace, especially those near their home.
Rental rates range from roughly US$2 to US$4 per hour, with desks in central business districts (CBD) usually being more expensive. Then the startup sends compiled invoices to the employers each month, and Deskimo’s generated revenue is split between coworking space operators.
Flexible workspaces listed on Deskimo include serviced offices and coworking spaces, like those offered by The Hive, Arcc Spaces, Garage Society, and The Executive Centre, in addition to alternative spaces such as Changi Lounge and Furama Hotel.
The startup was established by Christian Mischler and Raphael Cohen, who previously teamed up to found hotel-booking platform HotelQuickly in 2012. Christian Mischler also worked as an in-house consultant for Credit Suisse before he co-founded Foodpanda and served as its Global Chief Operating Officer. He is also a member of the team that established GuestReady, a short-term rental management firm in the Middle East & Europe.
Interestingly, the company has qualified for the Summer 2021 batch of the Y Combinator accelerator program. At present, its on-demand booking app Deskimo is available in Singapore and Hong Kong only, but it intends to venture into other markets after the Summer 2021 Demo Day on 31 August, during which startups show their products to an invite-only audience of around 1,500 investors and media.
Currently, Deskimo offers access to 50 workspaces in Singapore and 40 in Hong Kong. It also wants to expand in both commercial and residential districts, as staff prefer flexible workspaces near their residence.
In particular, the startup is collaborating with owners or operators of different kinds of real estate and is approaching each group step-by-step. The 1st are coworking spaces and other types of flexible workspaces, which view Deskimo as an additional distribution channel. The 2nd group are hotels that are transforming some of their space into coworking areas. Thereafter, the startup plans to work with event venues and social clubs that are typically vacant during weekdays.