Hong Kong Startup, Booqed Aims to be the Next Uber of Office Spaces

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Photo Credit: Booqed

Booqed the new Hong Kong startup linking workers with temporary office spaces and venues, has ambitious plans to expand to Singapore and Seoul.

What is Booqed?

Booqed is a marketplace for anyone looking for space, from co-working desks, meeting rooms, event spaces or music studios.

Whether you are looking for a conference, office room or brainstorming space, the app lets you type your preferences in, comparing different venues.

You can compare description, capacity, price, ratings and location before paying.

At present the app has launched in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, but wants to expand into other cities in: Asia, Europe, and Australia.

The Origins of Booqed

Photo Credit: Booqed
Photo Credit: Booqed

The co-founders got the idea when they were searching for a video conference room but found that it was expensive and you had to book ahead.

After talking to friends, going to web directories, and more, it took a full three days to find a place that was appropriate. They then went to the venue, booked the room and paid a deposit.

On the day, the venue couldn’t find the record for their deposit or their booking.  Coming away with the frustration from that encounter, they realized there must be others who experienced and felt the same, hence the concept of Booqed was found.

They set up Booqed, allowing individuals and organizations to rent under-utilised spaces, which include music studios, office spaces and F&B outlets.

The app is currently only available on the Apple app store but will later be released on Android.

Audiences: Individuals and Larger Businesses

Co-founder David Wong told zdnet.com that the app could extend to business, using their backend booking system.

“What we’re looking to do instead is to offer an API (application programming interface) so the organizations can hook up their backend with ours and do some integration.”

The app is useful for hosts that still rely on manual paper and pen entries to track bookings.

Booqed receive a 10-20 percent commission fee from each booking as well as handing all admin duties, making the booking process easier.

Investments

Photo Credit: Booqed
Photo Credit: Booqed

Wong said, “We’re targeting to raise up to $1million but the sweet spot is $500,000.”

He said he was aiming to list on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) because there was an opportunity to appeal to the Asian market there.

Currently the Booqed backend system is free for any venue host who signs up to list their website, whether it be co-working companies or F&B outlets.

Uberization of Everything

Examples of apps that offer spaces and hotels through locations are:

* Booking Now: A hotel booking app that matches a user’s GPS location with nearby hotels. It appeals to last minute travellers and allows room bookings up to 48 hours in advance. Filters include: breakfast, free Wi-Fi, parking and price range.

* Deskamping: CEO Nick Couch said, “We have a set of ‘Office Vibes’ developed by a business anthropologist to help describe the culture of a workspace. We have this thing called ‘5 Day Itch’ which means a guest or host can cancel at any point in the first 5 days.”

* ShareDesk: Kia Rahmani, ShareDesk CEO said, “ShareDesk makes it simple and beautiful for mobile professionals to access fully serviced offices, coworking spaces, and meeting facilities around the world. We now have over 1,800 locations in 70 countries to do just that- help people be more productive!”

Do you think office apps will be more popular as freelancing grows or is it a fad? Would you use it for your business?

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