There is no place like Roam: see how the shared workspace and co-op living startup is allowing digital nomads to work from wherever they want in the world.
Mish and Rob are a couple of typical digital nomads. On their popular “Making It Anywhere” blog, they chronicle the ups and downs of their chosen lifestyle while running a booming business from wherever in the world they may be.
Having lived in twenty different cities over the course of four short years, they’ve run into plenty of challenges: the need to find appropriately equipped places to live and work; the difficulty of building connections to each new community; and simply coming up to speed with unfamiliar countries and cities before it’s time to move on. But one company could make all of this easier for the working nomad.
With $3.4 million in fresh seed funding, a thriving shared workspace and living space startup named Roam aims at making this globe-trotting way of life simpler and more rewarding for Mish, Rob, and the growing number of others like them.
From Alpine Austria to Encompassing the World
An entrepreneur from the start, Roam co-founder Bruno Haid put himself to work at the tender age of 14 selling sandwiches to tourists passing through his tiny, borderlands Austrian village. That passion for business combined with a restless spirit to produce founding stakes in communal living spaces on three different continents, along with a number of startups.
With Roam, Haid and co-founding partner Dane Andrews are taking the time-tested idea of cooperative living in directions more suited to the needs of a growing new class of workers. Instead of digital nomads like Mish and Rob needing to start entirely anew with each move, they gain access to the relationships, shared information, and other perks that make established communities so appealing.
Comfort, Flexibility, and Rock-Solid Internet
The primary Roam model is simple enough. With locations now open and operating in Ubud on the Indonesian island of Bali, in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, and in the Malasaña barrio of Madrid, the company hopes to have at least ten going by the end of next year.
Newcomers are encouraged to try the service out, with $500 securing a week’s use of a room and a private bathroom at any of Roam’s current co-living spaces. That same fee covers couples, as well, making it an appealing option not just for unattached singles but also married professionals or retirees seeking to see the world.
For those who want to dive in deeper, $1,800 allows for the full Roam experience for a month. With every Roam location coming equipped with a professional-grade kitchen, plenty of shared workspace, socializing space, high-speed Internet, and other perks, digital nomads can be confident of arriving at a new spot ready to hit the ground running.
Helping Fast-Moving Nomads Make Deeper Connections
As with the cooperative living ventures that informed it, Roam is also designed to leverage the power of community in rewarding ways, too. Roam members can make contact with dozens of like-minded people at each location, helping to ease the transition. The formation of ties to the wider community persists beyond the stay of any individual member.
This respect for and valuation of each location’s setting and community can be seen in other ways, as well. At the Roam location in Miami, for example, the company enlisted the assistance of local preservationist and developer Avra Jain and her Vagabond Group.
Restoring the historic River Inn in one of Miami’s most famous neighborhoods, Jain highlighted the unique cypress-wood construction interior design and reflected the character of the river-focused working environment just outside.
Roam members, therefore, arrive at accommodations tuned to help them adjust, both through the force of human connection and by pointing out in concrete ways some of the things that make a new location unique. At the same time, the mobility and freedom that digital nomads value so much remain in force as well, as Roam members can pick up and head to a new location whenever they please.
Exploring the World while Living and Working in Style
With over $3 million in seed capital to realize even more of the company’s goals, Roam’s future looks bright. Work is underway on a new location in Buenos Aires, with a fifth to follow in London after that.
Also of note is Roam’s new Explorer program, an option limited to the first twenty to sign up this summer. Participants in Explorer choose between six-week and three-month packages that allow them to move freely between Roam’s locations without the need to be tied down even to month-long terms.
With around-the-clock concierge service and a slew of perks like local SIM cards included, Explorer is meant to make it even easier to enjoy everything that Roam has to offer, albeit at a somewhat higher price. However, as Roam refines and develops its options going forward, it is clearly identifying a need that will continue to grow with the swelling ranks of committed digital nomads like Mish, Rob, and so many others.