What if your monthly rent covered not just one apartment, but gave you access to several all across the world? Oh, and you also get to cook in a top-of-the line kitchen, lounge in Instagram-worthy living spaces, and benefit from an unlimited co-working membership at every single spot.
That's exactly the concept behind Roam, the startup that just raised $3.4 million in seed funding. From Bali to Miami, you can live and work for any period of time in one location in the Roam network, then bounce to another when you please. You could stay for weeks or months.
Roam caters to a growing group of entrepreneurs who have built their businesses to be location independent. While working from any corner of the world certainly seems romantic, it comes with plenty of hurdles. The lifestyle can be isolating. When you're constantly on the move, it's hard to feel at home anywhere. The hassle of bouncing between Airbnbs and hostels isn't ideal, especially when you're lugging your work with you. Even the never-ending hunt for reliable internet can take a toll, making it difficult to hit deadlines and keep your business running smoothly.
Roam has considered all those pain points and built a concept that attempts to solve some of the largest inconveniences of the digital nomad lifestyle. Founder Bruno Haid spent several years working across the world, and understands firsthand its frustrations. His co-living concept strives to offer an equal balance of comfort, privacy, productivity, and community.
It's not a packed-like-sardines hacker house. It's not an impersonal and noisy hostel, either. Each Roam location aims to offer just the right amount of coziness and community so members can get acquainted but aren't in one another's business.
"Roamies" pay $500 a week or $1,800 a month and get their own room with queen or king size bed and private bathroom. They share the common kitchen, living space, and in some cases, pool. Utilities, co-working space, and "battle-tested" Wi-Fi are included.
"We are not a hotel," the company wrote in a Medium post. "We are not a hostel. We are not a dorm. We are not a regular three- or four-bedroom apartment shared between a couple of roommates. We are a longer-term community where you stay for weeks or more at a time. Our spaces are for people who want to get work done."
Roam's current locations include Miami and Bali, with Madrid expected to open in June. On deck are London and Buenos Aires. The Bali location in Ubud is in a converted boutique hotel, with 24 rooms that wrap around a tranquil pool. Roam Miami boasts 38 rooms in a renovated Victorian boarding house.
Take a gander at the stunning photos of Roam's locations, and you'll see the spaces definitely cater to people who appreciate comfort and have an eye for design. They don't pack a bunch of bunk beds into a room, or offer beds that convert into desks. Roam also offers modern design-forward amenities like Cisco Meraki gear, universal power outlets, and Eames aluminum office chairs. Roamies sleep on Tuft & Needle mattresses with Parachute sheets.
Roam admits its target includes those who are already established and likely have several years of experience in their domain under their belt. Think less of a high school graduate taking a gap year, and more of a couple in their 30s taking a gap year. Roamies have included a children's book illustrator, a yoga instructor, designers, and inventors.
"It's great because it's not a vacation," Haid explained to Fortune. "It's all people who want to work on something, whatever that is. They really want to live their life there, and they want to get up in the morning, they want to get their shit done, and they want to have other people they can lead an interesting life with."