Mapmelon: The Platform Connecting Digital Nomads and Colivers
We love seeing projects popping up that help digital nomads make their travel and life easier!
This week, we are listening to the story of Ramon and Sole, the couple behind Mapmelon, a community-based platform designed for nomads and colivers. Both digital nomads themselves, Ramon and Sole struggled to keep in touch with friends they made in colivings and find new ones. That's when Ramon started working on a map to share his travel plans with his friends, and after a few months, Sole joined the project. They launched Mapmelon in November 2022 as an app to share travel plans and favourite spots but later pivoted to a coliving-centered app.
In this interview, Ramon and Sole discuss their inspiration for Mapmelon, what sets it apart from other apps, and their plans for the future.
Let's dive in!
ESCAPE: Who are the brains behind Mapmelon?
Mapmelon: We are Ramon and Sole, a couple of Spanish nomads who had trouble keeping in touch with friends they made in colivings plus looking for new ones.
Ramon is a full-stack software developer, and I (Sole) am a digital marketer who is learning about UI. So we make the perfect team to create an independent startup!
ESCAPE: Are you digital nomads? Are you still living the digital nomad lifestyle at that very moment?
Mapmelon: Yes! We both are.
Ramon started three years ago, just in the middle of COVID, by leaving his home in Madrid and staying at a Nine Coliving in Tenerife for a few months. After that, he couldn't stop looking for similar adventures.
In my case, I started last year after meeting Ramon and seeing the possibility of having this lifestyle. I asked my job to go remote, left my apartment in Valencia, and flew to Cape Verde with Ramon and our friend Mario.
Last year, we travelled to 13 countries and 4 continents, so we plan to take it a bit easier this year (hopefully!) and stay in more colivings.
ESCAPE: What was your inspiration to create Mapmelon?
Mapmelon: Ramon was tired of having repetitive conversations with his nomad friends, like "Where are you?" and "I'm going these dates." So he started working on a map to share his travel plans with his friends and make it easier to send them his top spots in a city.
After a few months of him building it, I joined the project, and we launched the idea in November 2022. That's when Mapmelon was born, an app to share your plans and favourite spots. One month later, we saw that users weren't using the Spots feature, so we decided to delete it and started pivoting to a coliving-centred app.
We are still in this phase.
ESCAPE: How could you summarise in a few words what your app are for?
Mapmelon: Mapmelon is a community-based platform that helps nomads and colivers plan their next trip by seeing where their friends are and having trustful nomad colivings in one place.
Our aim is to be the all-in-one platform for nomad colivers.
ESCAPE: Why is Mapmelon different from other apps?
Mapmelon: In general, it is different from other platforms because it combines the two things that colivers need: a general coliving community and a trustful revised listing of nomad colivings.
The Sharing locations feature allows users to connect with their current friends. We differentiate ourselves by not being intrusive (we don't track users' locations) and having more customization features (pictures, texts, tags), so nomads can journal their trip as they prefer.
The Discover colivings feature differentiates us by having all the coliving info in one place (reviews, experiences, nomads that have been there, etc.) and being very selective with the colivings that join (only the ones we tried or our community asks for).
ESCAPE: What is your idea of coliving? Do you think it changed in the past 2-3 years?
Mapmelon: Firstly, we need to understand that co-living is a broad term that covers not only nomad accommodations but also those for students and residents.
We refer to nomad co-living as shared accommodations with an active nomad community around them. Other requirements include a monthly discount (to promote longer stays), a dedicated workspace, and a shared space where most community activities happen.
Once these are met, the co-living can have different vibes (yogi, party, entrepreneur, etc.) and different amenities or activities (family meals, hikes, workshops, etc.).
ESCAPE: What challenges do you face? And how do you overcome them?
Mapmelon: Like any startup, we face challenges such as user acquisition or engagement and funding.
Currently, we are creating everything ourselves in our free time (as we both have full-time jobs), so we don't have a large budget or all the time we would like to launch big ad campaigns or paid collaborations. Therefore, the process is slow.
ESCAPE: What are the future plans for Mapmelon?
Mapmelon: The best thing about Mapmelon is that when we decide on the next step, we often realize that users are asking for another thing, haha. So, I can only tell you what we plan today…
We will add posts options so users can share experiences and ask questions related to co-livings or locations. We also plan to introduce co-living page settings for co-living owners to edit and manage their page. Additionally, we may introduce a booking system so users can book a co-living directly from the platform.
Thank you so much for giving us the space to talk about our project, and we hope our tool will help nomads and co-livings communicate more easily.
This article was written by Sole García, Digital Marketeer and Cofounder of Mapmelon.
For more information, follow them on: - Website: mapmelon.com
- Coliving search: mapmelon.com/colivings
- Instagram: instagram.com/mapmelon_app
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/mapmelon
- Sole's profile: linkedin.com/in/solegarciafernandez
- Ramon's profile: linkedin.com/in/ramon-morcillo