Roam is Where Travel and Remote Work Meet

Roam lets you see the world without giving up your job.

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With $3.4M in seed funding, Roam wants to change the way we live.

If coworking spaces have been transforming the way we get work done, then Roam wants to take that mission one step further. The service provides coliving properties in exotic cities like Bali, Madrid, and Miami. These spaces offer collaborative living facilities, and that’s not a euphemism for a dorm. Kitchens are shared, but bedrooms and bathrooms are private, and the decor is closer to that of a hotel than a run-down hostel.

The main selling point is that a single subscription (currently $1800/month) lets you live in any of their spaces. It’s similar to coworking memberships like Croissant, except locations are scattered across the globe instead of across the city.

While most careers wouldn’t mesh with the Roam lifestyle, the service is particularly useful for freelance/remote workers who don’t have a permanent office to begin with. For those who work exclusively out of coworking spaces, Roam offers an exciting alternative to the daily commute. Each of the coliving spaces includes a coworking area with reliable wifi, so you don’t have to save up to tour the world. Freelancers with enough clients can maintain an income stream while living in a vacation destination.

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Roam’s growth is an indicator of yet another step in the move away from an ownership-based lifestyle. While renting is a necessity rather than a choice for most people, services like Roam make temporary ownership seem worthwhile. It’s essential an apartment-as-a-service model, and the inclusion of a coworking space makes it more suitable for long-term arrangements than Airbnb. The experience that users get from Roam is worth the monthly cost, even if they’re not paying down a mortgage.

The service provides an interesting counterpoint to the idea that technology is dragging work stress into life at home. True, if you find yourself compulsively checking work email on a Sunday, you might be overworked. But Roam offers a chance of the opposite extreme: an environment where life feels like a vacation, and work slips its way in when necessary. In this case, technology enables freelancers to fund a lifestyle that would otherwise only be possible through significant wealth or years of savings.

It’s the inclusion of work that makes the service special, and that’s what the founders are betting on. In an interview with Fortune, founder Bruno Haid said that the thing he most wants to disrupt is the “single-family suburban unit with a 30-year mortgage”. It’s not about competing with Airbnb or WeWork; the idea is that low-commitment, flexible living and working can be a long-term solution.

Maybe he’s right—maybe flexible living is the future, and it’s hard to see from here the same way coworking was hard to predict a decade ago.