BR Office Offers Co-working Ecosystems
By Peter Mikaili
For every startup to succeed the most important thing is the conditions created that make it possible for it to become successful.
For Uber and Airbnb the rise in people using the internet and the smartphone created were the right conditions and time to succeed. Igor Bohun, CEO of the Coworking startup BR Office calls this ‘being in the right time’.
“Coworking which no one could have bought into a decade ago has grown rapidly and evolved, and impacted the way labour and work spaces are used. The crowdfunding, and cryptocurrency have been raise to new ways to investment demonstrated that people are ready for a Coworking ecosystem,” said Mr Bohun.
“We started looking to coworking seeing that it is a hot topic right now. We decided to open a cowork in New York,” said Mr Bohun during his recent visit in Johannesburg to drum up support for their cowork ecosystem startup BR Office.
What is coworking? It is a social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with people who value working in the same place alongside each other, according to Wikipedia.
This is how coworking begun, a computer programmer named Brad Neuberg had a chicken or egg moment, either He got a job, which entitled him to structure and community or He could be a freelancer which entitled him to freedom and independence. He reasoned he wanted both. He took action, rented space in a building, started a movement He called Coworking.
According to Emergent Research, shared work spaces have grown at an incredible rate of 200% over the past five years. In global cities like London, New York and Chicago they are expanding at an annual rate of 20%, making coworking an institutional part of the market.
Coworking has taken the Asia-Pacific region by storm, leasing more than 8.0 million square feet over the last two year. Coworking now takes up 27 million square feet of office space across the US.
According to Allwork, there are over 250 coworking spaces in Africa, with 80% of these spaces springing up in the last 3 years. The largest markets are in Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria. The number of coworking members will rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022.
Mr. Bohun said the inspiration behind starting BR Office coworking ecosystem came from the success of the $4 billion worth, in 400 locations WeWork.
“We realised that opening one hub would be a long investment process. As I said it is about the right timing. Right now it is a time for crowdfunding. People are ready to investment into crypto following the boom of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). It has become easy to do since there is no banking and border constraints. In this way we can realise the investment to grow rapidly as we had envisioned,” said Mr Bohun of BR Office.
A coworking ecosystem differs from a typical coworking in this respect. A typical coworking is about selling desk space and community building and related amenities that comes with paid membership through traditional banking services. While a coworking ecosystem model, adds blockchain services such offered tokens for purchasing membership and investment opportunities. The ICO gives the firm an opportunity to raise capital to invest quicker than it would have selling desk space to realise investment.
“We are inviting people to invest in this global scale project. For every person that invest a $1000 BR Office they are given a lifetime membership on the ecosystem. For everybody else it is $300 a month,” said Mr Bohun.
BR Office intends to sell 50 percent of company shares through its HUBT token people. It is offering 25,000,000 tokens at $10 a token. The token can be exchanged for shares at reaching 50 hubs milestone. And it is tied to the profit share of the entire network.
BR Office plans to build initial five coworkings through the token offering investment of the membership. After that in 2019 raise the money for 45 more. A further 100 hubs will be setup using franchising to the world. Their goal is to raise 150 in 3-5 years. The would be franchisee will be given software, access to community, money for startups, our experience, remodelling.
Mr Bohun said that BR Office startups investment will be $500,000 for two startups per month for each coworking hub. Which means 24 startups per year for every hub and a projected 1250 startups investment from its 50 hubs. Using a 5 percent success rate He projected 60 startups success rate per year raise from their hubs.The startups will get free space for 3-5 months, membership, possibility to travel to other countries to visit other professionals who are part of the coworking chain.
“Why are we sure we can achieve this? We have a strong commercial real estate development background with a company named Mega Line Development. It has been in the market for more than 20 years, in 5 countries, 5000 employees. So we have the capability to execute coworking. Our business investment as Mega Line are within 50 million. Furthermore, were able to demonstrate through our company about crowdfunding and crypto BitRent from which we raised 37,000 Ethereum that’s about 40 million dollars that deliver on what we promise. So we are experienced in doing this,” said Mr Bohun.
BR Office is planning to open representative office in South Africa in 2019, and hub it is will be one of the 45 hubs globally.