GigRove lets you code your way to a free stay

By on January 8, 2016 | Startup Feature

Travellers now have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a stay. A large number of alternative stay platforms have motivated property owners to host travellers and earn some extra money out of it. GigRove takes this idea even further and allows startups to host travellers in exchange for their skills. The travellers use their skills and experience to help the startups and the startups offer them free stay.

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We spoke with Marko Islamovic, Founder & CEO of GigRove to learn more about this interesting platform. Here is an excerpt from the conversation:

How would you describe GigRove?

GIGROVE is a collaborative community for travellers and startup hosts. The purpose is to allow travellers to use their skills and get valuable experience while helping out members of startups at their local homes. In the community they are able to connect and schedule a “trip gig”. Startup can easily request a service by publishing a host listing where they can describe what kind of service they need and what kind of accommodation they can provide. There are startup hosts from over 130 countries worldwide.

Marko Islamovic, Founder, GigRove

Marko Islamovic, Founder, GigRove

What was the inspiration behind it?

Well it started from me. I was at that time in Madrid developing some apps and friend from my cousin wanted to visit Madrid. I remember that I was struggling with programming and the cousin’s friend was a programmer. I suggested him that I will provide him accommodation if he wants to help me out with programming. He happily agreed. Then I just got a thought that this practice can be taken even further.

What kind of users have you got on the platform?

Seed stage startups, local businesses and the other side, travel enthusiasts and people who are looking for working experience in other country, usually students from the college or people who just graduated. GigRove is encouraging internship-like incentives through collaboration between startups and travellers.

We got over 20 000 users from 130 countries worldwide in just few months.

How are you helping the startup community?

We are encouraging global cooperation between individuals and local firms. Startups have an easy access to international labour and they only need to host a traveller in order to get certain help. Exchange between travellers and startups is dynamic so they are able to experiment which is further advancing their career progress. Travelers are motivated to help local startups since they basically get a free stay in the country they want to visit by providing their skills. There’s some benefit for both startups and travellers.

We created four trends which are fostering careers and startup growth:

  1. Extending global connections between people and firms so that firms can learn and grow with the help from people from other parts of the world. We are bringing international mobility and easy and friendly access to international skilled labour.
  2. We are allowing businesses (startup hosts) to enter the markets and experiment with business models. The nature of startup host and traveller exchange is very dynamic.
  3. Matchmaking — GigRove community is ensuring that startups can find the right skills and knowledge in order to grow. Inefficiency and lack of human resources are causing the slowdown and eventually death of startups.
  4. Innovative collaboration — we are extending collaboration beyond the financial scope — it’s very casual and fun. Travelers have a cool work and travel experience while startup hosts get a chance to learn and expand their knowledge.

What are your future plans?

We definitely look into expanding our community and bringing more startup hosts from around the world as well as travellers who are looking for a work and travel experience.

100 million startups are opening globally each year. Most of them fail, and largely because of lack of human capital. We decided to connect something exciting, resourceful and useful through GigRove app.

You can find more details about GigRove through their website


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