Dominic Penaloza, the former head of innovation and technology at WeWork China, is introducing on-demand work booths in public locations, at a time when China's zero- COVID policy continues to interrupt offline work and face-to-face interactions.

Penaloza wanted to boost mental health for people who use the company's quiet, privacy-first space to avoid crowded offices and noisy cafes. A group of business partners and entrepreneurs have invested in Peace.

Penaloza has been experimenting with flexible work for a long time. The executive led an internal project to offer pay-as-you-go spaces. He moved on to found his own proptech-focused startup studio, which had a similar on-demand workspace service.

Peace launched its first set of portablepods at three high-end malls and two office buildings in the heart of the city. Penaloza said on the video call that it wants to deploy 1,000 of them across the city.

When I inquired if the booths would have security cameras, the founder said that they were selling privacy on demand.

We don't plan to put cameras in... I think it's more important to make our users feel like it's private. Everyone can't hear what they're saying. Everyone can't see their screen or them.

Each Peace Pod has a meeting table that can fit four people. The portable box has a lock, electric sockets, and soundproof walls. COVID-19 prevention technology is provided by a startup called LumenLabs, which uses the novel far UVC method to inactivateviruses andbacteria.

Four people fit in each of Peace's workpods. The image is of peace.

The long list of equipment is the reason for the high cost of thepods.

Penaloza thinks his team has found a sustainable revenue model. The founder said that the cost can change based on location and real-time supply and demand in the future. If four people were to split the cost of an Americano at a cafe in China's top-tier cities, it would be worth it.

Retail spaces, office building lobbies, urban renewable spaces, transportation hubs, exhibition centers, and residential developments were some of the sweet spots in its relationship with landlords.

Penaloza said that the space was not rented. The formula for working with real estate companies is one of our most secret sauces because this hardware is actually an asset enhancement. It should be part of the renovation budget that they have from year to year to make the building better and keep it competitive.

Even though everyone has an office upstairs, people still use it, especially in China where small meeting rooms in offices are often fully utilized, and everyone needs peace and quiet from time to time.

Peace saves on maintenance costs by working with landlords. Operators of enclosed spaces are being asked to clean their facilities after use. Peace's tech platform will alert the property manager at the end of every booking, and a cleaner will be sent to the Pod, a process that can be done in a matter of minutes.

Most of the investors in Peace are entrepreneurs, including Francois Ammand from the Aden Group, Chris Brooke from Brooke Husband, and Patrick Berbon from CM Venture.