SA’s Spritzed fundraising for African real-time workspace network

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South African on-demand office finding platform Spritzed is fundraising ZAR500,000 (US$37,250) to build out Africa’s largest real-time network for office space.

Spritzed launched in October 2016, with the aim of helping startups and small businesses to find affordable, short-term office space, by helping companies rent out their excess office space – without long-term leases.

Companies with extra space in their building, or those willing to spare their office, create a listing on the Spritzed platform; which also allows hosts to schedule tours for potential renters.

Whether they require a one-off conferencing room, a hotdesk for a short period, or a private office for a small team, tenants can browse all types of listings on the platform, request to visit attractive spaces, and make bookings for the space they select.

Payments, including deposits, are also processed via the platform, removing the “hassle” for hosts.

Co-founder of Spritzed, Alex Gabriels, says the concept can be thought of as an “Airbnb for office space”, and says the startup wants to create an easy-to-navigate marketplace for workspace for small businesses.

“We launched the platform to make it easier for businesses to find flexible workspace, but also a marketplace that also connects young businesses and startups with later-stage companies that have already signed long-term leases, that may not yet have grown into every corner of the space, and thus have room to spare,” Gabriels says.

He says the platform reflects the changing needs of startups and small businesses, as well as their tight finances; and that Spritzed will contribute to building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa.

“Startups are dynamic, and need to be flexible. We believe that flexibility and affordability should go hand-in-hand. We are all trying to make do with the limited resources we can afford, and it’s hard to commit to a long term lease when you’re not even certain of where you’ll be in 6 months, let alone 3 years,” he says.

“We believe our offering can improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa.”

According to the Spritzed team, for startups, office sharing is about more than just space.  This is why small businesses need their own dedicated portal for finding relevant office facilities.

“It’s also about sharing knowledge and relations. We believe many of our space seekers and space providers will discover business synergies whilst working together,” Gabriels says.

While the startup has seen solid traction since launching four months ago – with 105,000m2 of space listed – Gabriels says the startup needs to raise ZAR500,000 (US$37,250) as quickly as possible, to build out further elements of its platform, and enter a growth-focused phase.

“We’ve successfully proven our business model and have placed over 35 businesses and freelancers into flexible workspaces. Now that we’ve reached product-market fit, we are seeking investors to scale the business.”

 

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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