Indonesian Startup Rides Southeast Asia’s Booming Office-Sharing Market
Indonesian coworking space provider GoWork announced on Wednesday that it has secured a Chinese investor to close its fundraising round. The fresh investment comes as office sharing gains popularity in Southeast Asia’s growing tech sector. International investors, including Japan’s SoftBank Group, are becoming enthusiastic about the booming industry.
GoWork’s series A investment totaling 13.8 million Singapore dollars ($10 million) announced on Wednesday was led by Chinese venture capital firm Gobi Partners and developer Indonesian Paradise Property. The Jakarta-based startup received a $2.5 million investment last year led by Ucommune, China’s largest coworking company.
Other startups are drawing investor cash. EV Hive, a rival in Jakarta, received $20 million in June from investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group. Common Ground, a major Malaysian coworking space operator, completed series A financing of $20 million the same month. And late last year, Singapore’s JustCo raised $12 million to expand its presence across Southeast Asia.
GoWork offers shared workspace options ranging from a hot desk for about $8 per day to a private office at a monthly fee of $183 at offices across Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali. The majority of its 600 corporate clients are established tech companies such as Southeast Asian ride-hailing leader Grab, as well as multinationals, CEO Vanessa Hendriadi said.
The new funding will be used to bolster operations, increasing coworking space from the current 10,000 sq. meters to nearly 25,000 by early 2019, the company said.
Players from outside the region are also moving in. American coworking leader WeWork last year acquired Singapore’s Spacemob as part of its $500 million investment plan to grow in Southeast Asia. Amsterdam-based Spaces debuted in the region in February, with a new office in Bangkok.
Market watchers attribute the fast expansion to Southeast Asia’s status as a hot spot for startups and digital nomads, thanks to the region’s relatively low cost of living, tech-savvy young workforce and digital infrastructure.
Coworking sites could constitute roughly 15% of Southeast Asia’s office space by 2030, up from 5% now, global property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle estimates.
Hendriadi thinks her company can snare a slice of this multibillion-dollar market. The 2-year-old startup claims to have achieved a nearly 100% occupancy rate at its 16 locations while turning profitable. In February, GoWork merged with local rival ReWork to strengthen its market position.