Only have 1 minute? Here are 3 key takeaways:
- Bulgarian coworking company Networking Premium is expanding its reach by acquiring Coworking Bansko Ltd.
- Currently, Bansko is one of the top consistently growing remote work hubs in the world.
- Matthias Zeitler, the co-founder of Coworking Bansko, will stay in the company as an advisor, focusing on developing Coliving Semkovo.
The Bulgarian coworking company Networking Premium announces its expansion with a new location, with the acquisition of Coworking Bansko Ltd. It is a strategic step for Networking Premium to consolidate its position as a coworking chain in Bulgaria, currently with eight locations. The price of the deal is undisclosed.
The Coworking scene in Bulgaria has significantly expanded in the past two years, marking a few major deals. Betahaus, one of the pioneers in the market, established a strategic partnership with GTC Bulgaria in 2022, one of the leading commercial real estate developers in Central and Eastern Europe and part of the GTC Group. In 2024, they are еxpеctеd to furthеr expand in the region.
Coworking Bansko opened almost eight years ago, and since then it has bееn a place for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and digital nomads, both for short and long-term stay.
Bansko has emerged as a destination for the global digital nomad community in recent years. Over the past five years, other coworking spaces were established, such as Altspace Coworking and Nestwork. According to the online resource Nomad List, the town finds itsеlf among the world’s “top consistently growing remote work hub” of the last five years. Since 2019, it has grown by 245%, leaving behind places like Las Vegas and Helsinki. Moreover, Bansko Nomad Fest, which takes place every year, welcomed more than 700 visitors in 2023, according to their data. The festival is one of the events curated and hosted by Coworking Bansko.
Networking Premium aims to create a bridge between Sofia, Plovdiv, and Bansko communities. Currently, the chain consists of eight locations, eleven еvеnt spacеs, and more than 1,000 members. The founder, Emil Shekerdzhiiski, aims to nurture a space for collaboration and creativity between businesses.
The members of Networking Premium will get an instant membership in the Bansko Coworking facilities and vice versa, with an additional soon-to-be-released coliving accommodation package for this current ski season.
What about the next steps?
Emil Shekerdzhiiski, who grew up in Israel and opened his first coworking business in Tel Aviv, says that the team is looking forward to enriching the digital nomad experience in Bulgaria. “It will be yet another base for the community, combining a coworking area, outdoor and indoor event venues, accommodation hub, and team building destination for companies from all over the world”, he adds. “Coworking Bansko won’t rebrand or change its name, because we want to cultivate the original spirit of the space”.
Matthias Zeitler, the co-founder of Coworking Bansko, an entrepreneur and nomad movement activist, will stay in the company as a partner with a minority share, and have an advisory role, contributing with his experience and knowledge. Uwe Allgauer, the second cofounder of the company, makes a full exit.
Zeitler recognized Banko’s potential as a digital nomad hub in 2016, only a couple of months after visiting Bulgaria for the first time. At that time, Zeitler was a digital nomad himself, living in Strasburg, Austria before he started looking for a place where taxes were lower. After some time spent in Bansko, he took upon himself to establish a digital nomad community there with the opening of Bansko Coworking.
Now, he focuses on developing and launching Coliving Semkovo, situated in the same region, extending his commitment to fostering nomadic communities. Zeitler is actively working towards converting a large, deserted hotel from the Communist era into a communal living environment with 200 units. In January 2024, the second sale of the units is going to be launched.