Back in 2014, Marius N. Matatula was inspired by a trip to New York City. Marius is a natural networker and loves any opportunity to connect with new people. He turned to his trusty friend Google, to look for ways to connect with like minded thinkers — in this case, Fintech-ers. Google results turned up WeWork, the coworking conglomerate who is home to a number of members — but did not answer his initial desire to connect with the local FinTech community. Thus the first concepts of DeskVibe were born.
Marius spent the next year developing the idea by talking with industry experts and potential users to identify pain points. In 2016, he began to form a team that was made up of a front end engineer (Emil Andreas Olsen), backend engineer (Mantas Gudelevicius) and a marketing manager (Lauren Smith). The team was completed in May 2016 and development started. Through the end of 2016, the product was being built out little by little as everyone’s side gig.
In February 2017, Lauren assumed the role of CEO and came on full-time, driving things forward. The team was more focused and able to define better product specifications to ship. Unfortunately, Mantas left the project in April 2017 — leaving the team with a gap in backend expertise. Being a startup, we were able to reassess the situation and figure a way out. Using the expertise of our advisors and Emil’s passion to learn and grow, we have been able to continue building the product — even faster than we were before.
Where is our product today?
The first version of our platform shipped in mid-May 2017 with a single purchase function. For local workspaces, this meant something that could accommodate either a day-rate or a single monthly rate. We launched with two local test spaces (657 Oslo and The Kasbah Hub) and quickly realized that that was not enough to generate the bookings we were hoping for.
For the last month or so, we have been gathering as many relevant workspaces as possible. Coming to agreements with local players such as Tøyen Startup Village, Oslo International Hub, Kroloftet and Opera Software — totally approximately 4000 sqm and 150 desks in the greater Oslo area. *Some spaces still awaiting final activation from office managers before listing on the platform.
We are in the process of building and testing features that allow more functionality for longer term use. They include recurring payments that automate the invoicing process for mid-to-long term leases (expected June 2017). To address security issues and pre-screening community needs, a messaging system is being integrated (expected by July 2017).
Where do we want to be tomorrow?
Default answer: World Domination.
Realistic answer: Market leader for office space & professional networks (first in Norway then beyond).
From a business perspective, the more workspace connections we are able to facilitate, the more sustainable the company will be. Our goal is to be the go-to resource for any professional or company looking for workspace.
From a human perspective, we want to be able to make meaningful connections. Help our users find a network that gives them the support they need to drive their business forward.