Blueground is a startup with an interesting twist on the Airbnb formula. They offer month-to-month leases, which are cheaper than staying in a hotel, with units in many major metropolitan areas.
This business model encourages a nomadic lifestyle, a trend that has been picking up steam among travel-minded millennials in recent years. 4.8 million Americans describe themselves as digital nomads, as they work freelance and are not tethered to one location. Blueground allows these world travelers to live in one city for just a month before moving on to the next.
Today, Blueground has 3,000 properties in six U.S. cities, along with Dubai, Istanbul, London, Paris, and Athens, and a staff of 400 to manage and maintain these properties.
The company has also been turning heads at venture capital firms, as Blueground recently landed $50 million in Series B funding, bringing its total investment to $78 million, as reported by Fast Company. They hope to have 50,000 properties in 50 cities throughout the next three years.
Blueground CEO Alex Chatzielefteriou got the idea for the company when he was working as a management consultant for worldwide consulting firm McKinsey.
“The way many of us are living today is different from in the past,” Chatzielefteriou said. “We want to move frequently over the course of our lives, while still being able to come home to a comfortable space of our own, but there isn’t a seamless way to do that.”
To that end, Blueground specializes in the creation of unique spaces that cater to different tastes, with touches such as built-in bars and breakfast nooks.
“It’s an entirely new definition of home,” Chatzielefteriou said. “Someone might start the month in Chelsea then move to the Upper West Side by the end of the month. It’s all about flexibility and exploration. That’s how we want to live today.”
Other startups have their own spins on the nomadic concept. There’s Outpost, which successfully merges short-term leases with co-living. They offer fully furnished co-living units, with month-to-month leases, catering to the digital nomad. Outpost has experienced an exponentially increasing demand for its platform, attracting over 400 applicants per month.
“Young professionals, interns and post-grads use Outpost to jump into their careers without the worry of high living costs,” Outpost Co-Founder and CEO Sergii Starostin said in a press release. “Our platform captures the entire housing process, including sourcing, presenting, signing, paying, moving in and in-home experience.”
These trends show no signs of slowing down. It is estimated that 50% of the total U.S. workforce will be freelance by 2027, according to a study conducted by Edelman and the Freelancers Union. The more workers become untethered to location, the more they will surely become interested in the services on offer by the companies mentioned above.
photo credit: blueground