FRANKLY CO, an up-and-coming flexible workspace, community, and digital platform dedicated to helping women make work work, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign with Birchal to raise up to $2.5 million to get off the ground.
The brainchild of entrepreneurs, friends and (two) working mums Oonagh Geoghegan, Dee Behan and Emma Startup, FRANKLY CO’s goal is to create an inclusive and accessible space designed for women to work from and retreat to.
“Our aim is to provide the best physical space and inclusive community for women in Australia,” says Dee. “Supported by a seamless digital experience, we want to help as many women as possible to make an income and go further, quicker.”
What is FRANKLY CO looking to achieve?
FRANKLY CO will be the first workspace to offer an onsite creche; women-focused amenities; corporate packages designed to help businesses attract, hire and retain female talent; wellness classes; workshops and events; and a digital platform that will connect and enable digital and physical memberships.
“Changing workplace culture to be more flexible includes helping women who already work full time — but who have provision for flex work — to access a service they wouldn’t usually have at home,” says Dee.
“Not only will our corporate packages give female employees the opportunity to take advantage of our services and facilities — including an on-site creche — but they will also form a significant part of our revenue generating strategy.”
The co-founders decided to seek investment via crowdfunding because they want to make FRANKLY CO a “people-powered company”.
“Our research has proven that women want — and need — more in order to effectively integrate work and life and take advantage of flexible working arrangements,” says Emma.
“We believe there’s no better way to build a community with integrity than uniting people with a common need and inviting them to invest in something they believe in.”
In addition, Oonagh, Dee and Emma are also hoping to attract a high-net-worth individual who shares the same values and ethos.
“It’s so important to us to partner with someone who aligns with our values, cares about diversity and inclusion, and who can recognise our strengths — but also push us on our weaknesses,” Emma says.
Last year alone, Australian workers spent $408 million on flexible workspaces — with nearly half (48 per cent) being women. With the industry revenue forecast to triple by 2030, this comes to a potential addressable market of $588 million.
Yet despite the growth of coworking spaces, barely any are designed specifically with women and none with flexible working in mind, say the co-founders.
Having worked together previously at Nine and then on FRANKLY SO, their “no bullsh*t” newsletter for women who “work damn hard and want to feel damn good”, Oonagh, Dee and Emma found that when it came to finding a space that would fit all of their needs, there was a huge gap.
“What we needed didn’t exist. We craved a space where we felt we belonged, which was a delight to be in and where every detail was thought about,” says Oonagh.
“We wanted somewhere in the real world where we could connect with others.”
After talking to women both offline and online (gathering content for their newsletter), the friends realised what they needed to do — and the idea of FRANKLY CO was born.
“We need to change the working landscape for women to enable them to make work work, whatever that means for them,” says Oonagh.
“If just 6% more mothers worked, we would see a $6 billion win for our economy. By creating an integrated online and offline space that supports how women work and live, we’re providing a platform for women to succeed, and a community in which we can all thrive.”
Updates can be found at: https://www.instagram.com/franklyco_au