A look back at 2019 with Outsite's CEO, Emmanuel.
I hope your year has been good! We've been reflecting on 2019 at Outsite.
First and foremost, I feel very proud. Our vision of building a global network of coliving spaces to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle is taking form.
With a total of 30 properties in 15 cities in 9 countries, Outsite now has a global footprint. Most importantly, we have now hosted 5,000 guests from all around the world and we will be hitting the magic number of 1,000 Members pretty soon. Traditionally, we always had to supplement our core business with company retreats and AirBnB guests but it's now a relatively minimal part of our revenue (less than 15%). As a result, there is increased capacity, an improved guest experience and a strengthened community.
After a slow start to the year, we went into expansion mode and opened a total of 15 new properties in 5 cities and 6 new countries.
This year we experimented with a franchise/licence model and it has proved challenging in some locations. Opening locations in LATAM was certainly more challenging than we thought. I would like to personally apologize to the initial set of guests and Members that didn't receive a true Outsite experience at those new locations. While we made some mistakes, this will ultimately enable us to improve launches in the future.
One of our biggest projects has been the Outsite Cowork Cafe in Lisbon. This is the first commercial space we've designed, opened and managed. It's fair to say we're still learning with this, but our local team in Portugal are doing brilliantly. I can't wait to see how it develops in 2020.
2019 was also the year of the WeWork fall out and may be the end of the 'Growth at all Cost' startup culture.
At Outsite, we always make sure all our locations can contribute positively to our overheads. However, in the last quarter, we signed and opened a lot of properties to hit milestones we promised to investors. This led to counterproductive stress, adversely impacted team culture and somewhat undermined the user experience. That's why we want to use the first quarter of 2020 (and longer if needed) to consolidate what we have and improve our current locations.
We have a lot of ideas to refine the guest and Member experience and now, we can finally take the time to do it. Jennifer (former Head of Brand at AirBnB Americas) recently joined the team, and has already started to tour our international locations this last quarter. She will be touring all our US locations next month.
In 2019, we have seen climate change evolve from a side topic, to an urgent matter we all need to address.
At Outsite, we know travel is rarely a sustainable endeavour. While waiting for planes to become greener, we recommend slower and longer trips, carbon offsetting and living a minimalist lifestyle rich with experiences - not things. We have recently adopted many sustainability practices and we will continue to add to these.
Finally I would like to address the customer service issues we encountered over the course of the year. This was reoccurring feedback in 2019 and we have started to address it with new practices. I am hopeful that this will lead to an enhanced overall guest experience.
Thanks for staying with us another year.