A technology platform and mobile app that connects businesses with unused spaces with people seeking a venue to meet, innovate, or celebrate has been launched today in the UAE.
The venture, aceplace, is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Mubarak Muaz, Aydyn Tairov, and Chris Cooper. It enables hosts to generate revenue from their unused spaces by renting them out to guests needing a space to meet privately.
Rather than focussing on traditional meeting spaces, the app will host any space that can be put to use for collaborations including restaurants, gym studios, kids playgrounds, boats, and more. For example, a restaurant that is quiet in between peak service periods can now advertise their space for a baby shower or corporate meeting, or a gym that doesn’t always have classes running can now advertise their studios when they’re vacant.
The tech platform has been launched in response to the COVID-accelerated growth of the gig or sharing economy, where people and businesses work and interact much more flexibly and will require short-term venues rather than permanent workplaces.
Co-founder and COO of aceplace Chris Cooper said, “aceplace was developed as a solution to the ‘new normal’ we are experiencing. COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of the gig and sharing economy - with more people freelancing and remote work now standard practice, there is going to be less demand for permanent physical work locations as people book them on an ‘as required’ basis instead. Similarly, people will seek more personalised options when celebrating instead of going to a crowded environment alongside people they do not know.
“At the same time, the pandemic has also left many businesses with empty spaces and downtime they didn’t have before. aceplace gives business owners a platform to generate revenues from unused assets and guests the opportunity to see all the options available and book in a safe and secure way.”
The platform allows hosts to easily list their space with photos, timings, and details of the types of events it can be used for, accept and confirm bookings, and direct message with guests using the chat functionality.
All the seed capital for aceplace has come from the founders to date however they will be looking for investment in the future to accelerate their growth, for example including add-ons to bookings such as catering and equipment, as well as drive their planned expansion into the rest of the Middle East and possibly Africa.
To celebrate today’s launch the first 100 hosts to register will benefit from a complimentary professional photographer to take pictures of their space.
An encouraging 33 startup deals took place in May 2020, which was an increase of 93% compared to April. This was largely driven by the Misk500 MENA Accelerator, which graduated its third batch of startups. Discover more details in our May 2020 Dashboard Report.