Remote Year CEO, Greg Caplan, on the news of raising a round of funding from Lightbank, a venture capital firm based out of Chicago.
Growing up, my family hosted travelers from around the world (sort of like a mini model UN in our suburban Chicago home). I've been passionate about building diverse communities ever since. Five years ago I had an idea. I was ready to leave my 9-5 to travel the world. I found remote opportunities that would allow me to balance travel with work, but I was eager to travel with a group along the way. I posted online asking if anyone wanted to join me for a year while working remotely. The first day, I got 1,000 responses. Over the course of a few months, I got 50,000 responses.
It’s incredible to believe that less than 5 years ago, we were starting out this amazing journey together and that this month, we just launched our 55th program into the world. Our mission to create a more peaceful and productive world would not have been possible without the strength and growth of the Remote Year community, and, for that, we thank you immensely.
Since our 2015 launch, more than 2,500 professionals have expanded their professional and travel horizons as participants in our work travel programs in more than 40 countries on five continents. Through our program, participants live like a local and work with like-minded professionals in different global cities for 4, 6 or 12 months. We have built a company focused on helping people overcome all the hurdles of working while traveling internationally. We have truly become the global expert in how to work remotely while traveling abroad. We have invested in building a professionally focused community to support each other’s success throughout the experience. Also, to ensure productivity, each program’s transit and local experiences are built to respect the work week and connectivity is always a priority, offering SIM cards and strong wifi in each city. We have even built a team of Employer Success specialists that support interested participants in getting employer approval to join a program.
We’ve built a global footprint with staff from around the world to help deliver this experience. I’m truly proud of what we’ve done, but we won’t stop working towards our mission of creating a more peaceful and productive world by fostering genuine human connections across diverse cultures and people.
To continue achieving our mission, we have now raised $5 million from Lightbank, a venture capital firm based out of Chicago to help more people live abroad while working remotely. Our latest round of funding will help us grow our community of curious, driven professionals by empowering them to experience a life changing work-travel experience. With the newest funding, we’re aiming to expand upon the incredible experiences we’re already delivering and create new experiences to expand accessibility to our platform to more people.
We have seen tremendous growth in our Nation over the past 5 years and as more and more people have finished their program, they’re asking what’s next. In the last year, we’ve started to build out experience specifically designed for our Citizens (program alumni). The Remote Year experience now stretches way beyond the initial 4, 6, or 12 month program with a burgeoning suite of new experiences aimed at connecting people across programs and developing the Nation as a community. We’ve created Global Access which allows Citizens to join a program for a month at a time in any of our cities, providing them with the full platform for the month. We’ve also created shorter term experiences like our Citizen houses, week to month long coliving experiences in exotic locations, and even SurpRYse trip, a 10 day long trip with a surprise destination, to provide different ways for people to engage and connect with the Nation. But we’re not satisfied with just connecting our Nation more strongly, we want to bring this experience to more and more.
To bring this experience to more and more people, we’ll be investing in our team and resources to help people transition to remote. Beyond helping people join one of our current program types, we’ll be releasing a new product soon to that will aim to bring the Remote Year to an even wider audience to propel our mission forward. But that’s all I can say for now, you’ll have to follow and subscribe to be the first to know when that comes out :).
CEO & Co-Founder of Remote Year
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