One of the best things about coworking, is not only ideas coming together, but actual people coming together from inside a coworking space to form a powerful team that can push those ideas through.
After the successful launch of a car fleet back in 2018, another company has formed that could only take shape inside a coworking space, called DenSwap. DenSwap officially launched in September at the Global Workspace Conference as a marketplace to buy and sell coworking businesses. It was started by John Driftmeir, a 6 year member of Creative Density and the digital payments and marketer head, and Craig Baute, the coworking consultant. Both John and Craig have been or are coworking space owners and have been in the industry to some degree for a combined 15 years.
The idea came to John after his friend in Seattle was interested in selling his coworking space and didn’t know where to start. A few months prior had a seamless experience selling a web business on the marketplace, Flippa.com. He figured there should be a marketplace for the coworking industry for spaces that want to grow fast through acquisition and help coworking space owners, like his friend, that have built a successful business but want to exit.
The idea was presented to Craig, who has consulted nearly a hundred coworking spaces throughout the world and started Denver Coworks, and Craig saw the benefit that went beyond dollars and cents, but was actually a path of keep communities together by handing them off. It was viewed as a win for the space looking to exit with a payout, a win for the buyers that want to start or grow their brand, and a win for the community because they are able to stay together.
John used his experience startingGivingFire, a digital payments platform for churches and non-profits, and spent a few months building out the platform with a beautiful interface that allowed coworking spaces to list themselves for sale and for buyers to filter through the listings and interact with a messaging platform. In addition, DenSwap added escrow services for safe transfer of money and lending services to help buyers purchase coworking spaces.
Craig started dozens of conversations with coworking contacts throughout the US to help friends understand the process of selling their coworking space and who they would be willing to hand it over to. Craig attended the GWA conference in Washington DC to announce the new product and it was met with excitement. After the conference, the listings started to pile up in Austin, Denver, Seattle, LA, and Chicago.
DenSwap now has buyers looking for coworking spaces for sale in the New York City region, South, LA, and in the Midwest. They have closed and are closing some new deals this month that will keep coworking communities together while others providing a nice profitable business.
DenSwap would have never happened if it wasn’t for the serendipitous nature of coworking spaces and Creative Density. This small story speaks volumes on how coworking is more than a desk rental service, but a community that can push ideas forwards and creates new businesses. After all, coworking is a simple idea that brings people together to work, but it’s the power of people coming together that have always pushed the world forward.