Shanghai-based co-working provider naked Hub held the grand opening of its Xintiandi flagship location last Thursday, and the startup that is known for trying to make work a bit more fun, decided to take a more serious tack for the formal debut of its sixth shared office facility.
Rather than just host a free beer fest, naked Hub welcomed guests to the 4,500 square metre (48,500 square foot) center with a panel discussion on the future of work, featuring local entrepreneurs, real estate experts and commentators.
The event was held just over a month after the co-working branch of Shanghai’s naked Group, which made its name with a chain of upscale, eco-friendly resorts, announced a $33 million round of investment that included funding from Hong Kong’s Gaw Capital.
500 Guests Come By for Panels and Cellos
For its panel discussion, naked Hub brought together Michael Yao, the Shanghai head of bike sharing startup Mobike; Claire Stephens, head of workplace strategy for China with property consultancy JLL; Limin Chen, head of real estate private equity firm Sheng Liming Investment Management and Elle Decor China Editor in Chief, Xinxi Sun. Together with naked Group founder, Grant Horsfield, the group explored changes in the economy and in corporate structures that are driving the co-working movement.
More than 500 guests attended the event, which was followed by a reception showcasing virtual reality technology and other products and services provided by some of naked Hub’s. Participants were also treated to a performance from two-time Grammy winning electric cellist, Dana Leong.
Xintiandi Location Part of Regional Expansion for naked
The four-storey, 600 desk naked Hub@Xintiandi is part of an aggressive expansion plan for the one-year-old co-working startup.
naked’s 12,200 square metre Gubei hub is set to debut in the first quarter of the new year, bringing 1,700 co-working desks to the western Shanghai suburb. In its Gubei location, as well as in centre planned to open in Sheung Wan during the second quarter of next year, naked is introducing “co-wellness” facilities, that allow “hubbers,” as the group likes to call its members, to share their fitness and health activities the same way that they collaborate on work projects.
Now that the group is a multi-million dollar venture, rather than a boot-strapped startup, naked has declared plans to open 24 centres in the next year.