Shokworks launches coliving platform

Sara Kirsch Sara Kirsch Uploaded 23 July 2021

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US: Dallas-based tech firm Shokworks has announced its plans to co-launch a tech-enabled coliving scheme for digital nomad customers.

The new development for Shokworks is in partnership with Metrospaces, a Miami-based company that Shokworks has taken about 10 per cent stake in. Together, the companies worked to create MetroHouse, Metrospaces’ coliving platform. Shokworks has said that it expects MetroHouse to “completely reframe the co-living model.”

The partnership announced its plan to add Infinity View Villas in the Dominican Republic, which Metrospaces is developing, to MetroHouse. Infinity View Villas will be a luxury nine-villa development for coliving with a 4,000 square foot home and a members-only rec space. The property is set to have its first phase of development complete by mid-2022.

Alejandro Laplana, CEO of Shokworks has described Infinity View Villas, which will allow customers to work and live together in a luxury community, as “WeWork meets Soho House.”

MetroHouse will initially launch with Philadelphia properties, but, eventually, other United States and International options, including Infinity View Villas, will be added.

Oscar Brito, CEO of Metrospaces, said: “Our plan is to have at least 15-20 rooms incorporated into MetroHouse by its September 15 launch date and 100-120 rooms by end of 2021. Infinity View Villas is a very exciting project because, as developers, we can use sale proceeds of a portion of the villas to finance the construction, while keeping the management of the villas for our platform. This will keep our cash investment low, while retaining the most profitable, long-term part of the project’s revenue.”

With MetroHouse, Metrospaces executives hope to create a luxury worldwide coliving network with a focus on second cities and digital nomad capitalists customers.

Digital nomads, the target market for the Infinity View Villas, are highly skilled young professionals who rely heavily on technology to complete work remotely. Digital nomads travel the world, while also maintaining their work. Shokworks and Metrospaces segment the digital nomad market even further by targeting nomad capitalists, a term created by Andrew Henderson.

The typical nomad capitalist works for a large company, making six to seven figures. However, they seek more flexibility and the ability to travel, a problem that Shokworks poses a solution to. With Infinity View Villas, Shokworks aims to show that one can work and lead a company from anywhere in the world.

As the MetroHouse platform grows, the companies plan to expand with a real estate tokenization platform, Metrocrowd. Metrocrowd will help to create a democratized platform to open fractionalized sale of properties.

Laplana said: “We use standard token offerings to provide investment options to retail investors outside of the U.S. We’re reducing barriers to transaction and to entry with AI-based tools for contract interpretation. So we want any person to be able to buy a fraction of a property, anywhere in the world.”

The MetroHouse project is one of many that Shokworks has taken on in the last few years. Shokworks, which launched five years ago, focuses on helping companies go digital through the creation of aps and online platforms in areas such as artificial intelligence, fintech, blockchain, web development, and more. Since opening, the company has had a notable list of clients including Telefonica, Fox Sports, Real Madrid, Kinesis Money, Dupont Chemicals, FC Barcelona, Telemundo, and the United Kingdom government.

Shokworks seeks out companies that disrupt the real estate industry. Usually, Shokworks will take a stake in the company it works with, as it did with Metrospaces, and then provide all back-end programs.

Laplana said: “We do tend to work in that capacity where we basically provide a full-scale digital transformation, and in exchange, we receive equity or stock ownership on the delta. We’ll be also assisting with management, we’ll get board seats, and we’re part of the executive committee. We’ll be deciding what companies to roll up in the future and kind of adapt into our ecosystem.”

Laplana, who was not always interested in real estate, sees real potential in the industry now. He hopes to turn Shokworks into a “proptech company builder in every aspect of real estate.”

Laplana said: “With a lot of what’s going on in commercial real estate in Dallas, for instance, there’s so many ways where you can affect flat-out disruption or meaningful efficiency gains. I think now’s the time to really target this industry with technology, and specifically blockchain-based technology. It’s becoming extremely exciting and it’s something I want to be a part of.”

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