Funding campaign aims to establish new co-working space in Dublin

Sona 10 is seeking €25,000 via crowdfunding to fit out Liberties premises

The Sona 10 co-working space in Newmarket, Dublin 8.

The Sona 10 co-working space in Newmarket, Dublin 8.

 

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to establish a new co-working space in Newmarket Square in Dublin’s Liberties.

Sona 10 Newmarket, which is located next to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery, is being created in collaboration with the long-established Dublin Food Co-Op and will be hosted on its premises.

The brainchild of Adrian O’Connor, a Canadian entrepreneur who has lived and worked in the area for about a decade, Sona 10 has already raised some private funding to get the building open with some tenants already coming on board.

It is now seeking to raise an additional €25,000 via the Irish crowdfunding platform Flender to kit out the premises.

Mr O’Connor, who runs a digital agency called Proxify from the building, said that as well as being a space for freelances, start-ups and artists to get together to work, create and collaborate, he also wants Sona 10 to host community events.

Desks in Sona 10 start at €200 a month. Those taking part in the crowdfunding campaign will be offered a free three-month membership.

Discounts

About 10 per cent of Sona 10 Newmarket’s revenue will be given to the Dublin Food Co- Op. Members of the organisation also get a discount and the facility intends to offer cheaper rates to those living in Dublin 8.

Businesses already signed up for working space in Sona 10 include Restless Design, Ciara Murray Architects, the Irish School of Archaeology, SES Electronics, Dublin City Kayaking and Doodle Web Design

Mr O’Connor, who has more than 20 years’ experience in media, sales and marketing, previously established Ireland’s first ad-funded wifi network in 2009.

He told The Irish Times he had turned to crowdfunding because he wanted to generate interest and to engage the local community. “We’re looking to do something wonderful in this little space,” he said.

“Dublin 8 is very much a place of multiple worlds with a gentrified middle class, the traditional locals and a growing ethnic community. I think Sona 10 could be a place for them all to converge,’ he added.

Dublin-headquartered Flender went live with its peer-to-peer lending platform for consumers and SMEs earlier this year.

The company was established by technology entrepreneurs Kristjan Koik, Oli Cavanagh and Jeremy Davies in October 2014. Its platform enables businesses and consumers to lend and borrow money through an app that links in with social network connections.

Having secured more than £500,000 to fund itself through crowdfunding, Flender recently announced plans to raise a £2 million funding round and £20 million in leveraged debt finance after receiving full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to operate in Britain.

Investors in the platform include former EY Entrepreneur of the Year winner Mark Roden, the founder of Irish mobile payments company Ding. Also on board as an investor and as the company’s chairman is Philip Grant, who started the accountancy practice RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, which merged with Grant Thornton in 2015.