Serial tech entrepreneur Alicia Navarro launches her latest venture, Flown, a ‘deep work-as-a-service’ start-up. Flown enables its members to search a curated list of inspiring properties that are fully equipped for distraction-free and ergonomic working.

Flown is a new online platform that aims to help knowledge workers – people it says ‘think for a living’ – achieve “deep work” by matching them with physical and mental spaces in which they can work more productively and creatively.

By providing inspiring properties setup for productive and ergonomic remote work, as well as providing an array of interactive tools and resources, Flown aims to provide spaces away from standard work environments that will engender better working and comfort.

Navarro, who previously founded the successful content monetisation platform Skimlinks, closed a pre-seed round in lockdown, with the new funding being used to build out the platform, onboard remote work-enabled properties and launch across the UK and Portugal.

Navarro tells Intrepidian:

“We are busy building the first platform offering “deep work-as-a-service”, aiming for a March launch, where knowledge workers will be able to both book inspiring accommodation setups for the type of remote/ deep work they want to do (as an individual or a team), and be able to use our tools that help you with creativity, focus and accountability no matter where you are”.

Navarro was inspired to create Flown after stepping down from Skimlinks in 2018, following 11 years at the helm. Navarro said: “After leaving Skimlinks, I thought I’d have tons of time to write, think and ideate. Unfortunately, it was impossible to find spaces to do this: co-working spaces were too distracting, cafes weren’t ergonomic, and I needed a break from working from home. Plus, not being part of a team any longer meant I was often lonely and struggled to get into the right mental space for thinking creatively or productively.”

She then set off travelling around Europe to see if she could focus more easily away from the distractions of London but became frustrated at how difficult it was to find remote working locations that were reliably wifi-enabled, ergonomic, creatively inspiring and functional. It became her mission to help other people find the fulfilment that comes from being able to focus and create significant work in suitably inspiring environments. 

Aimed at freelancers, creatives, entrepreneurs, academics, remote teams, or anyone struggling to focus or get things done in their usual day-to-day setting, Flown is providing an innovative solution for the growing demand in productive remote workspaces. There are a billion “knowledge-workers” globally and is the fastest-growing sector of our economy.

Navarro added: “COVID19 has only made the need for Flown even greater. People working from home sometimes need to escape to find inspiration and fewer distractions. Companies shifting to remote work still need places for their team to regularly collaborate or bond. And never before has our economy been more open-minded and experimental with new ways of working and supporting the needs of their employees.”

Aimed at both individuals and teams, Flown has two core offerings. ‘Flown Away’ is a highly curated list of homes, hotels and retreat spaces that are fully equipped for distraction-free, ergonomic and productive remote working. All locations have undergone vetting to ensure they meet Flown’s standards and members can choose properties based on their ideal workspace – from a cabin in the woods equipped with a large screen monitor, to a countryside cottage equipped with whiteboard and display screen. ‘Flown Here’ is a treasure trove of resources and interactive tools to help workers establish more effective ‘deep work’ rituals – from virtual accountability groups to perception-shifting creative challenges. 

Raising £1.2m pre-seed investment in November 2020, the business has gained a number of prolific angels and entrepreneurs as part of its investor cohort, including Taavet Hinrikus (Transferwise), Greg Marsh (OneFineStay), James Meekings (Funding Circle) and Pete Cashmore (Mashable) – with a third of the fundraise also coming from female investors.

Navarro will be using the funding to continue building out the Flown platform ahead of its formal launch in the UK and Portugal, as well as onboarding new properties and bolstering Flown’s growing team adding “Raising such a large fundraise during a pandemic demonstrates how much our future-of-work vision resonated with investors”.

Taavet Hinrikus from Transferwise says: “I recognised that Flown has the potential to be a real driving force for the way we work, and for how the hospitality industry can adapt to become more resilient and diversified by accommodating knowledge workers, not just holiday-makers.”

“we have a large member waitlist that will get first access and tons of incredible properties ready to host you! So join our waitlist.”

Flown is seeking inspiring remote work-enabled properties to add to its collection: owners or managers of potential properties can apply at Follow FLOWN on Instagram at @flownspace