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It is clear that the modern workplace is becoming increasingly distributed. People are working across different time zones and the need for richer communication and better collaboration tools led to the rise of many B2B SaaS success stories such as Slack, Dropbox (Paper), Zoom, Realtimeboard, Monday, Figma, etc. and there will be many more…

But not only the way we work is changing dramatically, also how we live. Digital Nomadism is going mainstream. And with it the need for new B2C SaaS products. Tech can do better to allow people to adopt a completely location independent lifestyle enabling them to work and live anywhere in the world.

I recently had the opportunity to chat about this massive macro trend with Liat Aaronson (listen here). Liat was the COO of Selina, one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality brands, offering beautiful accommodations combined with coworking spaces and local experiences for digital nomads in exotics places around the world. We discuss who the digital nomads are, Selina, some important stats behind the trend, how the future of work and education is impacted, how corporations are adapting and finally where some opportunities for startups and their new products and services lie.

The recent MBO Partners Research Brief says that the number of digital nomads will grow substantially in the next 3 years from less than 5% of the US workforce currently to potentially over 25%. Besides the extent of interest in this work and lifestyle, the anticipated pace of change is even more staggering. My colleague Oron predicts that there will be a billion nomads by 2035!

Liat predicts that a big chunk of that growth will come from employees of big corporations. Currently 20% of nomads are working for big corporations. This percentage is expected to double in the next years. Corporations will adapt and offer greater levels of work flexibility to attract, retain, and engage employees. And they will need the help of startups to do so.

The trend also crosses all demographic lines. Although many are young and male, 31% are female, and 54% are older than 38. Silvers will continue to ‘unretire’ and work past the traditional retirement age. Many will choose to do this nomadically.

But living out of a suitcase and changing locations regularly is of course challenging…

While there exist already a handful supportive services such as the city comparison site Nomad List, the co-living marketplace Badi, the coworking subscription marketplace Croissant or the elderly care app Safe365, there is a major opportunity for startups to build B2C and B2B products and services to assist nomads and those millions of people that will convert to this lifestyle in the coming years…

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So if you’re are building a product in the nomad space, please feel free to reach out. If you are an investor and just curious about the space, do so as well.
Special thanks to Sara Gràcia for helping me out with the audio file!

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