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6 Companies That Started In Co-working Spaces
Are you thinking of moving your small business to a co-working space? See the 6 biggest brands to start at co-working places like WeWork.
Loni Schuman
When you think of some of the top companies today, you probably think of hundreds of employees, chic offices, and incredible swag. But did you know that some of the best known companies in the world started out in co-working spaces?
For most entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, this surprising fact is a massive source of inspiration when considering whether or not to start working from a co-working space. The shared office spaces have been extremely successful, and for good reason. They combine a unique mix of networking opportunities, new ideas, a great social aspect, and increased productivity.
So if you’re considering moving into a co-working space, take a look at these 6 awesome companies that started in one. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your company on this list in the future!
Weebly
Founded in 2007, Weebly is an online website building and Ecommerce store platform, used by over 40 million entrepreneurs worldwide. All this started with 3 college friends – Dave Rusenko, Chris Fanini, and Dan Veltri – in co-working space RocketSpace (where others on this list, along with the likes of Supercell and Blipper, started out). The team’s first breakthrough came in the form of selection for Y Combinator, where they submitted their application 30 minutes before the deadline. Since then, they’ve grown into a global company that sees 325 million unique visitors every month, with investments from the likes of Sequoia Capital and Tencent Holdings.
Launching around 6 months before overseas competitor Wix, Weebly changed the web design game by providing an easy way to build a website. Its platform uses a drag-and-drop editor, which makes the process super simple and user-friendly. The team used to pitch to VCs and angel investors by rebuilding their website, live, in under 5 minutes!
Uber
Whether you’re getting to the airport, coming home from a late work shift, or going to a business lunch, you’ve no doubt experienced the incredible company that is Uber. Yes, Uber has revolutionized the way cities work and people travel. But it’s more than this. It’s hard to quantify the impact that Uber has had; from ushering in the on-demand economy, to the impact on the transportation industry as a whole, and in the future, on autonomous vehicles.
What has at times been the most valuable startup in the world, Uber started in The Yard, a co-working space in New York City just across from McCarren Park. Before The Yard, the $48 billion company started its early development at another co-working space, RocketSpace, in San Francisco.
Both The Yard and RocketSpace, Uber’s original homes, have continued expanding, with locations opening up all over New York and even internationally.
Duolingo
People that use it, love it. Duolingo makes learning languages fun and easy, and boasts around 200 million active users. Co-founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker started working on the platform from a co-working space, and have gone on to build a company valued at $700 million.
The company launched in 2011, and only 2 years later Duolingo was chosen as the iPhone App of the Year. The award is a big deal on its own, no to mention that it was the first time the honor had been awarded to an app in the education category.
Duolingo estimates that there around 1.2 billion people learning a language an any given time, meaning that this innovative startup still has plenty of potential for growth.
Spotify
Spotify has changed the way that people engage with and consume music. Whereas in the 90s and early 2000s most people were downloading music illegally, and with Apple charging $1.99 per song, the industry was crying out for a game changer.
That came in 2006 when Daniel Ek, former CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of TradeDoubler, started Spotify. The ubiquitous music streaming service is used by over 100 million people every month in various locations. Spotify is royalty-based, with an “everyone wins” model.
Currently worth $19 billion and with no signs of slowing down, Spotify started out life in a co-working space in San Francisco.
Instagram
Many dream of being part of a company that gets sold to a huge tech player at a massive valuation. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Instagram when, in 2012, with just 13 employees and having started in a co-working space, they were acquired by Facebook for $1 billion.
Unlike some of the other companies on this list, Instagram was a hit from the start, with an impressive 1 million users only 2 months after its launch. The image-focused social network was started by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and thanks to the exciting co-working environment, they took only 8 weeks to build the first version of the app.
Hootsuite
As social media has become a bigger part of our lives, brands and individuals have turned to platforms such as Hootsuite to manage their online profiles.
Hootsuite was started in 2008 by founder Ryan Holmes. Holmes had a need for such a solution, as he was managing several marketing campaigns at once. So he started Hootsuite, which solves this problem by allowing users to attach multiple social media channels and manage them all from one simple-to-use dashboard. The dashboard can be used to schedule posts, run campaigns, respond to comments, and view in-depth reports.
The social network management platform boasts 15 million users, and is valued at more than $1 billion. Its customers include the likes of Monster, Virgin, and The Australian Open.
How did they get started? In a co-working space, of course!
What’s next for your business?
As we’ve seen, co-working spaces have provided the right mix of ingredients for some of the world’s most successful companies. Different co-working spaces emphasize different aspects of the concept; some are all about the social aspect, others focus on a beautiful working environment, and others focus on value by providing only the basics.
No matter if you have a small office, or you’re working from home, or even from the local coffee shop, your next great move could be to a co-working space. See the best co-working spaces here.
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