Hong-Kong startup Booqed, is exploring a number of options to enter the Australian marketplace— including listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) or undertaking a venture capital financing.
Booqed is looking to change how organizations utilize spaces and link them with people seeking temporary offices and event venues.
The business model emerged out of frustration when the co-founders, who needed a conducive space to conduct a video conference, spent three days searching for a suitable room only to show up to find there was no record of their reservation and the $100 deposit they paid. They decided then to set up a P2P marketplace with the aim to “redefine and reimagine” the use of space, said David Wong, Co-founder, and CEO of Booqed.
The startup’s platform allows organizations to rent out under-utilized space, including office spaces, F&B outlets and music studio, for various purposes such as to host events and as co-workspace. Through the platform, host companies can list and manage their space.
Through its mobile app, users can find, book, and pay for space. They can also provide a rating of the space after they have used it. The app currently is only available on Apple App Store, but an Android version is scheduled for release in the next three months.
Co-founder and COO Charles Oh said a new version of the app would be released in three to five weeks offering several new features, such as allowing host partners to set the lead time to make a booking, so they could have more time to prepare a venue if they needed to. He added that there is potential to extend the platform for businesses to utilize as their backend booking system.
Both platform and mobile app are available for free, with Booqed receiving a 10 to 20 percent commission fee from each booking. The startup handles all payments in order to minimize administrative work for host businesses and users, who can pay via credit cards or PayPal.
Speaking of entering the Australian market, Wong pointed to a strong focus on high-tech and opportunities in markets here. He also noted that Australian market showed a lot of interest in early startups.
The team has already begun initial discussions with finance and corporate advisors in Australia, with plans underway to launch Booqed in Sydney and Melbourne. Charles added,
Australia is an interesting market. The number of freelance [consultants] and business travelers there are incredible…including both international and domestic travelers, especially between Sydney and Melbourne.