naked Hub, the Shanghai-based co-working startup, has just landed in Hong Kong, unveiling its first centre outside the mainland in the city’s Sheung Wan area. The new facility marks a milestone for the company backed by Gaw Capital as it builds a regional network of high-end shared office venues.
naked’s ambitions to expand to 21 centres total, including two more centres in Hong Kong and further facilities in Vietnam, are finding traction as the two-year-old startup says its Sheung Wan location is already almost fully occupied.
Naked Gains a Foothold in Hong Kong
naked Hub@Bonham Strand takes up 16 floors at 40 Bonham Strand in the Sheung Wan area one MTR stop west of Central, providing hot desks, open offices and private rooms for over 800 people. The new space, which averages out to around 3,457 square feet (321 square metres) per floor, is fitted out with a full range of high-tech amenities and cushy décor, including a living room and bar areas where “hubbers,” as naked’s customers are called, can lubricate their workdays with some free-flow beer.
Prices reflect naked’s positioning at the upper end of the market and are roughly in line with the similar offerings of New York-based rival WeWork, which has two locations in Hong Kong. A hot desk for one person goes for HK$2,500 ($320) per month at naked, while a private office costs HK$6,500 per month. By way of comparison, WeWork charges HK$3,500 per month for a hot desk at its Wan Chai and Causeway Bay locations, while a private office is priced at HK$7,200 per month at Wan Chai and HK$5,468 at Causeway Bay.
naked’s facility is located the former EIB Centre, a 25-storey, grade B building that local real estate investment firm Pamfleet bought in the third quarter of last year. Now known as Bonham Circus, the 1999-era building is said to be nearly fully occupied with naked’s arrival. The address is located within a minute’s walk from the Sheung Wan MTR station and the island’s tram line.
Co-Working Startup Targets Regional Growth
The offshoot of resort developer naked Retreats, naked Hub made its debut in late 2015 with a centre in Shanghai’s former French Concession, followed by eight additional centres in the city last year. The company opened its first location in Beijing last month and is planning two more venues in the Chinese capital.
This past April, naked announced a new round of expansion that would grow its network to 21 locations in Greater China and Vietnam. The company’s Shanghai portfolio is poised to total 12 centres with 100,000 square metres of space and 15,000 seats. In addition to the three centres in Hong Kong, naked plans to launch two locations in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and one in Hanoi.
Partnerships with real estate heavyweights are central to naked’s rapid growth. To assist with its new centres in Hong Kong, Beijing and Hanoi, naked is expanding its partnership with Gaw Capital, the real estate private equity shop that last November led a $33 million round of investment in the Shanghai firm.
naked is also teaming up with China Vanke and Minghong Group on its mainland projects, as well as the head of Ho Chi Minh City-based developer Empire City for its efforts in Vietnam.