He created an ‘Airbnb’ of workspaces and now he is embarking on a regional expansion
Trained in social communication at UBA, Mabel ciancio He was working as a freelance associate for a market research firm in Brazil, ASM Latin, and suffered firsthand from the difficulty of obtaining flexible space for a large project that the cowork did not solve. Interested in technology applied to real world problems, in 2019 she found a niche to launch her own startup, Spaces now!, a startup that connects owners of square meters with users and entrepreneurs who need them as workspaces.
“We are aimed at companies and entrepreneurs who wish to decentralize their operations, develop their activity or enter into more flexible contracts to adapt to a rapidly changing market. We also address the owners of the spaces or the people who manage them and add value with disused spaces, which they could quickly become what an entrepreneur is looking for ”, explains Ciancio in dialogue with Forbes.
Spaces now! started operating shortly before the start of the pandemic. “The context already presented a scenario of growth in investments for micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs, in a world marked by marked inequalities and uncertainties due to the global financial crisis and the phenomenon of regionalization or de-globalization. I felt my problem was going to multiply by the millions in the area», Recalls Ciancio, at the head of a company specializing in hybrid workspaces in a flexible contractual model, composed of six people.
“All of this has been accelerated by the uncertainty of the markets, the rise in rents, the current economic crisis and the costs associated with the initial investment to contract spaces in the traditional way, all the factors that generate the possibility of starting or of develop projects are compromised. . Spaces NOW! increased by 2000% in the first year amid the pandemic,
we are now close to 1000% growth by 2021», Says the entrepreneur who started the business with the financial support of angel investors. The initial disbursement amount has not been exceeded.
Spaces now! offers businesses and entrepreneurs a solution to geographically diversify or expand production capacity. In turn, owners who have unoccupied square meters have access to higher rents with flexible contracts and value-added services (furniture, internet, security, moving, insurance, cleaning, concierge).
“Are value aggregators in the proptech sector and we complement ourselves with a network of direct owners, coworks and real estate companies, ”explains Ciancio, who started his career as a stock market analyst at an American bank and then specialized in marketing and research studies. market for companies such as Intel, Lenovo, HPE, among others
The arrival of the Covid-19 has had an impact on the company. “Financially, this deprived us of our ability to evolve more quickly, even if we are developing at an incredible rate, we are still not sustainable, this is our goal for 2022“, he admits.
However, far from giving up, Ciancio redoubles the bet. “We lowered the costs to take a forecast to fund ourselves until 2022. We doubled the initial investment capital and we were able to make the company competitive to attract larger investment.”
With offices in downtown Buenos Aires, Ciancio is already analyzing the landing abroad. “We are about to open offices in Montevideo because we already have a demand there and we are evaluating the markets of Bolivia and Paraguaand. The main motive is to seek fiscal and fiscal stability, to regionalize the company towards small markets but with sustained growth and to attack larger markets such as Brazil and Mexico in a last step. “
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