Robert Bukvic has spent his entire life working hard to achieve his dreams. Bukvic starred as a professional basketball player earning a living playing in various European leagues. After a successful career on the hardwood, Bukvic turned to business and began using the same work ethic he learned on the court as an entrepreneur.
In 2015, the CEO launched rent24, one of the world’s most innovative coworking and office space ideas ever created. Since its inception, rent24 has gone from strength to strength, opening properties around the world. Berlin, London, Moscow, and New York are just four of the major cities rent24 has popped up in.
August marked the start of rent24’s ICO campaign. The company aims to raise capital to continue its plan of changing the way people work and live. Bukvic recently sat down with Totalprestige Magazine to talk more about the company’s ICO campaign and what makes rent24 truly unique.
Robert, rent24 is a very interesting, cutting-edge business. Can you please explain exactly what it is?
rent24 provides services for all aspects of life. We started out as a provider of coworking spaces and have since expanded our business model to include coliving, several restaurants and a gym. We see ourselves as innovators and are constantly looking for ways to improve our services. We are, for example, currently developing a blockchain platform, which will connect all our physical locations and build a bridge between the digital and real world. By creating new connections among users, we establish a truly global community that can share knowledge, use or provide services and receive funding. In addition to that, we created the first real-world use case for cryptocurrency. I call this two-tiered approach “bricks & clicks” and am convinced that this is the future.
How did you come up with the idea for rent24?
I have been an entrepreneur for my entire professional career. Because I was always working on several projects at once, I had teams that supported me on several companies, for example one person doing the marketing and another one programming. We were practically practicing coworking before the term really existed or became popular. When I got the chance to rent my first large office, I transferred my experience to offer flexible office space to entrepreneurs and startups from all around the world.
How will rent24 help people in both their professional and personal lives?
rent24 focusses on a strong and active community. We connect members and create valuable synergies between them. We offer an environment where people can focus and work on their passion without having to worry about everything else. We also offer them options to spend their personal lives in a meaningful way, working out or treating themselves with a healthy and delicious meal. Plus, we give them the opportunity to meet new people at our regular events, where they can get to know potential partners, take their businesses to the next level or just create new friendships.
In August, the ICO campaign for rent24 began. How has the campaign gone and what have you learned from its launch?
The campaign is still going, it is actually running until next year. There was a lot we learned during the preparation and the early stages of the campaign, since the ICO and the blockchain platform are both new fields for me. I do not shy away from new challenges, however. I see situations like that as an opportunity to learn and grow. That is something that sets us apart from other companies, we are not scared to try unconventional things, if we feel that it benefits the company and our community.
The aim for rent24 is to raise $500 million. That is a lot of money. How will that money be used and what can investors receive in return?
We are building a platform that is open for everybody, either as a member or as a partner company. Through the platform, users can interact, exchange services, share knowledge or apply for funding. The platform will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create synergies between users by analysing and matching their skills, proposing tasks and rewarding activity. These rewards can then be used for all goods and services offered by rent24 and its alliance partners, ranging from hotels and restaurants as well as shopping malls to car sharing. Investors gain access to take part in the growth of an extremely dynamic and driven company.
Can you tell us about the rent24 events? This seems like a great way for people to get together and discuss ideas.
That is basically what they are for. As I said, we have a strong focus on community and we feel that our events are the best way to bring people together.
The company started in Berlin and has expanded to some big cities around the globe. What other major cities does rent24 have its eye on to establish coliving & coworking spaces?
We currently have 45 operating spaces on three continents. This year alone, we have expanded to cities like London, New York, Tel Aviv and Moscow. We have a full pipeline, so we will have at least 60 locations by the end of the year. Our goal is to have around 150 spaces by the end of 2019.
Robert, where do you see rent24 taking the business world in the future?
rent24 will provide the business world with the perfect living, work and leisure environment all across the globe. rent24 will be known globally as an innovative, dynamic company that redefines the way we work and live.
What is next for the company following its ICO campaign?
The first rent24 coworking space opened its doors actually in 2016, so about three years ago. In the near future, we will continue to expand globally and build our blockchain platform PRIMARY. However, we are always reinventing ourselves and coming up with new business ideas, so stay tuned.
What is a day in your life like?
One word: Busy. I get up early and have breakfast with my family. After dropping my kids at the kindergarten, it’s all about business. I go through my mail and check my calendar for meetings and appointments. The rest of the day is spent conferring with my management team, visiting and signing spaces and making the decisions to keep rent24 on its growth path.
What makes you smile?
My kids always make me smile.
Robert, do you have any hobbies?
Unfortunately, I don’t really have time for hobbies. The limited spare time that I have, I like to spend with my family. As a former professional basketball player, I was already fortunate enough to make my hobby my livelihood.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
There are a few that stand out. One is Nikola Tesla, a scientist with Croatian roots, who emigrated to the U.S. with almost nothing. Through hard work and his ingenious ideas, he managed to collect 280 patents in 26 countries, laying the groundwork for developments in the field of electrical engineering. A hero of my youth would be Croatian basketballer Toni Kucoć, who was an NBA legend, winning three titles and got voted sixth man of the year.
What are you never without?
My cell phone. It connects me to my family when I travel, but also allows me to run my business flexibly.
Choose two of your favorite quotes and write them here
“Live, work, grow” – not only is that the motto of rent24, but it also sums up my life very well. I have always been a hard worker, both as a professional athlete and as an entrepreneur. I never got anything for free and learned a lot in the process of getting to where I am today.
“Nothing worth having comes easy” – if you want to achieve great things, you have to work hard for them. That goes for sports as well as business.
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
I would make sleep optional. My days just aren’t long enough to do everything I want to, so that would give me more time to work on my business.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just come around to one of our spaces and experience the world of rent24 yourself.