Free Travel Courtesy of Host Startups

If Airbnb is out of your price range but plane tickets are not, then you still have the chance to travel. First, you will need at least one in-demand skill. Then you will have to apply to Gigrove, a London-based startup that works with other startups who are in need of temporary, skilled workers.


The Gigrove platform was established in 2015 with a beta version available in the summer of 2016. It already has 5,000 startup hosts in over 130 countries and 17,000 freelance users. Marko Islamovich, CEO and founder of Gigrove told TechCrunch that project-based work is on the rise and startups have “problems with human capital.” Gigrove’s freelancers are young students who want to travel on the cheap but also have skill sets that are in demand. The start-up gigs pad their resumes and give them experience while helping solve the human capital problem.


The platform works like this: a home-based startup with an extra room applies as a Gigrove host and lists the skills they need. Those skills do not have to be tech-based. If a host wants a live-in cook for two weeks, then they post for that skill. Most gigs run between three days to two weeks so if it isn’t a perfect match there isn’t much risk.


The startups are in pre-seed and seed stage stages of development, which is part of their appeal. Islamovich aims to provide a “Silicon Valley garage experience” for traveling freelancers. Although some critics point to the low monetization potential behind a platform that caters to two groups with limited incomes, Islamovich has plans to monetize the site by offering premium memberships. These memberships will include verified hosts. Additionally, freelancers will be required to pass tests that prove their skills. The cooking tests might be difficult to pull off.