Our investment in Pluria
Gabriela Draghia and Andrei Cretu, founders of Pluria.
Published by Roberta Tihomirova and Valeri Petrov.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be in the rearview mirror, but the founders of Pluria, Andrei and Gabriela, still remember it vividly. Picture this: Andrei, juggling online meetings and client calls, hunkered down in a cramped dressing room amidst clothes hangers, while his son is interrupting for drawing paper or popping up in front of the laptop. Meanwhile, Gabriela is forced to take calls from her car in the basement, to escape the deafening noise of construction work in her building and have some quiet time.
An insistent idea kept buzzing them both: how would it be to be able to work from… anywhere? Not permanently from the company’s office as it used to be, not from home all the time as remote work was considered until then, but to have the flexibility to choose a space depending on your needs? To be able to work from a coworking hub one day, from a café another one, or stop at a hotel lounge to finish some work?
Like any idea that doesn’t let you sleep, the only way to get rid of it was to turn it into a viable business. And this is how Pluria was born, changing the way people and companies are working together.
Pluria is a one-stop solution for modern businesses
who want to offer maximum workplace flexibility to their distributed teams. It helps them break free from the confinements of the fixed spaces, the time wasted on commuting, but at the same time gives them the option to get more productive and creative in another environment, without the distractions of their homes.
Hybrid work is becoming the predominant workplace policy
in organizations globally. From the continuous fight between in-office vs. remote, hybrid is emerging as the potential winner, being the preferred choice of 80% of the global workforce (*Accenture, McKisney).
At the same time, the current labor market is considered one of the most competitive in history and it is pushing companies to adapt faster. The well-being over work preference dominates in 53% of Gen Z members who are expected to become 30% of the global workforce by 2030. So it is no surprise that workplace flexibility is already proving itself as one of the top retention mechanisms. 61% of employees report that they are less likely to look for a new role as a result of companies allowing remote work (*Cisco) and 40% promote it as a top reason to stay at any single firm (*McKinsey).
In today’s work environment,
employees are able to produce results without having to be physically present in a specific location. The mass experiment with fully remote work during COVID, however, brought to light the negative effects of social distancing such as decreased motivation, loneliness, and output.
With hybrid work accelerating at a rapid pace, employers fail to offer workplace flexibility to their own talent, especially when that talent is distributed across multiple geographies. Organizations want to provide the proper environment for their employees but they struggle on multiple fronts when trying to create a hybrid culture that drives collaboration, communication, and learning.
This is where Pluria comes in –
the remote & hybrid work solution that helps companies to simplify and cost-efficiently recruit teams and develop businesses beyond borders, without the necessity of having a fixed office space. The product is designed to address problems of motivation, engagement, and communication in distributed teams by offering them access to a curated network of workspaces such as coworking hubs, hotel lounges, and cafés, where employees can come together and collaborate in a better work environment.
Pluria’s product offering consists of a:
- Dynamic application that allows employees to search, book and use pre-vetted workspaces on-demand;
- Employer admin for people management, activity logging and invoicing;
- Space platform that allows workspace managers to track and communicate with Pluria users.
The founders behind Pluria,
Andrei Cretu (co-founder and CEO) and Gabriela Draghia (co-founder and CRO) met each other more than 10 years ago, when they were working together at a consulting company. Later, they separated as Andrei went on to build his own venture, while Gabi joined Mastercard as Head of Consulting for SEE. But the two remained close friends and were always keeping in touch and discussing crazy startup ideas over the phone.
Andrei successfully bootstrapped 7card, leading sports B2B subscription in Eastern Europe, and sold the company to Sodexo in 2019. While working at Sodexo, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Andrei noticed that companies were starting to hire more remote workers but managing them was a pain. Having worked in the benefits space for a long time, he saw a big opportunity. At the same time, he was having his personal painful experience working in the dressing room. Putting all those together, he had a spark in that same dressing room. And that was when he called Gabi with the next crazy idea – taking only five minutes to explain and she was in. This is how it always starts – a few people with a big dream and a crazy idea. In Pluria’s case, of empowering people to work from anywhere.
Sparked your curiosity? Head to Pluria’s website to learn more.