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Latin America-Based Selina Looks To Bring Its Flavor Of Hospitality And Coworking To The U.S.

Selina will bring its unique flavor of melding hospitality with coworking to the U.S. and Europe in the coming years.

Flush with $95M from a recent Series B round, the all-in-one boutique hospitality company that mixes coworking, co-living, food and beverage, wellness and a community minded-approach has 25 locations in Central and South America. It is aiming to branch out to markets elsewhere for the first time.

Selina in Playa Venao, Panama

“We’re expanding into the U.S. and Europe this year," Selina Vice President of Real Estate U.S. Jordan Mittman said. "In addition to the 25 locations, we have a number of deals signed. With those combined we have over 50 locations and over 15,000 beds.”

Just three years old, Selina is the latest company that blends coworking and hospitality features in a full-service experience to accommodate a new generation of people looking to strike that balance of live, work and play.

Mittman will be among several experts discussing the office market at Bisnow's Los Angeles: Workplace of the Future event Aug. 29.

Selina joins those companies that are carving out their own niches in the coworking space.

WeWork popularized coworking by providing shared workspaces in a full-service environment for small and midsize businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Other firms, like Convene, take a different tack. Convene partners with landlords and handles meeting, event, coworking and flexible workspacesThe company is also evolving to add hospitality features and wellness elements. 

While WeWork and Convene offer coworking in a business casual or more professional business setting for mostly locals, Selina is a full-service one-stop shop for travelers and locals. 

“We are a global community of boutique destinations built for today’s digital nomads as a work, play and stay,” Mittman said. “At each one of our properties we offer coworking, food and beverage and wellness and other amenities. Some locations have surf camps, cinemas, libraries and exploration opportunities.

“We are targeting nomad travelers, which has become a trend that is timely and prevalent among millennials.”

Selina coworking space

He cited a New York Post story that 40% of millennials would take a pay cut if they could work from anywhere in the world.

“People are looking for more flexibility with how they live, work and travel,” Mittman said.

So far the Selina model has taken off.

Mittman said the typical Selina model is to sign a long-term lease with a property owner, preferably an owner of an existing hotel with 75 to 150 rooms and use 10K SF total for common areas, including food and beverage, wellness and coworking spaces.

The company teams up with local artists and designers to design the project and begin hiring staff. It takes about 90 to 120 days to open a Selina. 

Aside from a place to stay, Selina offers coworking spaces geared for travelers and locals. The coworking space is designed as a reflection of the community and there are shared and individual workstations. 

From its first location at a tiny surf spot in Playa Venao, Panama, in 2015, the company founded by world travelers Rafael Museri and Daniel Rudasevski has expanded quickly throughout Central and South America. 

There are Selina locations in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala. The company has 1,200 employees worldwide. It has corporate offices in London, New York, Israel and Panama.

Though many of the locations could rival the look of a hotel or a resort, Selina offers a wide range of choices. 

Someone looking for a hostel stay could rent out a hammock, dorm or camping areas starting at $15 per night. A shared bedroom starts at $40 a night, while private bedrooms or suites could range anywhere from $200 to $400 a night. 

The restaurants and food and beverage, coworking space and the other amenities — from yoga, martial arts, surf lessons to guided travel — are priced a la carte, Mittman said. 

Earlier this year, the company secured $95M in funding led by the international private equity firm The Abraaj Group and WeWork founder Adam Neumann, according to Techcrunch.

Selina Vice President of Real Estate Jordan Mittman

Mittman said Miami’s Tower Hotel is the company’s first location in the U.S., followed by New York and there are deals in place to open in Portugal, Greece, Brazil, Poland and Hungary

In Los Angeles, he said he has already met with brokers, developers, property owners and others for prospective Selina destinations. 

In the Los Angeles area, the company is targeting Venice, Silver Lake, the Arts District, Hollywood, West Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles as possible future Selina destinations. 

It is also looking at other places in California, such as Big Sur and Joshua Tree. 

By 2020, Mittman said, the company plans to have more than 50,000 beds in countries around the world. 

“There is a whole generation and group of people that tend to be millennials that are moving away from having traditional jobs where you sit in an office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are instead choosing to travel and work at the same time,” Mittman said.

“I think we are really filling that void,” he said. “We are looking to be a one-stop solution of work, play and stay.”

Hear more from Mittman and others about how the workplace is changing at Bisnow's Los Angeles: Workplace of the Future event Aug. 29 at the Wells Fargo Center North Tower in downtown Los Angeles.