20 April 2018 – Eje Prime
Merlin doesn’t want to get left behind in the race between the real estate companies in the co-working sector and so has taken the lead. The Socimi led by Ismael Clemente is going to launch a new co-working brand, under the name Twistt, together with Loom House, the company specialising in shared work centres, in which the Socimi acquired a stake of more than 30% last May. As sources at Merlin have explained to EjePrime, the first space under this new co-working brand is going to be opened in a building that the Socimi owns in Calle Princesa, Madrid.
The Socimi is going to open its first Twisttt space at number 5 Calle Princesa, in a building that it already owns. “Under this new brand, Merlin is going to contribute the assets and Loom House is going to be responsible for managing the co-working space”, explain the sources. There will be 1,100 m2 of shared office space, which can house up to 150 users. Twisttt’s first space is expected to be fully operational by June.
Although the sources at Merlin are not yet able to define the route map that the two groups will adopt with Twisttt, the plans involve opening at least one more co-working centre before the end of the year. “Unlike Loom House, which is an ecosystem focused on innovation, Twisttt is a much more practical ecosystem”, explain sources at the group. Twisttt will belong to the same company as Loom House, Innovación Colaborativa, and so will not be a new company.
This new project comes almost a year after Merlin purchased a 31% stake in Loom House. Paula Almansa and Jose Almansa are the founders of Loom House, a concept that seeks to differentiate itself from a “simple co-working because we wanted to go one step further”, explained its co-founder. “It is a space destined to innovation, to sharing ideas, that allows you to reflect” – explains Almansa-; if all you want us a workspace with wifi and a coffee shop, there are other options ahead of Loom House”.
Loom House is the spin-off of Impact Hub, the first co-working that was created in Spain by ten entrepreneurs (including the Almansa siblings). “After seeing that the co-working concept was starting to be accepted in Spain, we got down to work with Loom House, opening our first space in the ‘Real Fábrica de Tapices’ in 2016”, say sources at the group (…).
Now, the company is preparing to go one step further with the launch of its second Loom House space. This new centre, which will span 1,500 m2 and which will be able to house more than 190 users, is going to be located at number 9 Calle Huertas, in the Las Letras neighbourhood, in the former Chamber of Commerce building. Work to remodel the asset has already begun and is expected to be completed by in June.
The co-working war
The entry of Merlin into the co-working sector is not an isolated or anecdotal event. Ismael Clemente’s Socimi is following in the footsteps of Colonial, which acquired a majority stake in the Madrilenian based firm Utopicus (specialising in coworking) last October, to develop a new branch of its business, as Eje Prime revealed.
Currently, Utopicus has three centres in Madrid, located on Calles Duque de Rivas, Colegiata and Doctor Esquerdo (…).
Now, with the objective of generating a profit from its investment, Colonial is going to open three more Utopicus centres, on this occasion in Barcelona (…).
Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)
Translation: Carmel Drake