Global flexible office giant WeWork is ramping up its presence in Southeast Asia with an upcoming debut in Indonesia, potentially followed by Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines by year-end, the company announced.
The $20 billion New York-based startup will open two co-working centres in Jakarta by the third quarter and will establish a beachhead in other markets such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila later this year, according to a statement.
WeWork will launch its first Indonesian centres in central Jakarta, taking three floors in the Sinarmas MSIG Tower with room for 800 members, and five floors at Revenue Tower that will accommodate 1,400 members. The towers are located on the Jalan Jenderal Sudirman thoroughfare in the mega-city’s downtown core.
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“With Indonesia the largest economy in Southeast Asia, we are incredibly excited to create our legacy here by building communities to inspire greater innovation, collaboration and productivity for creators to businesses of all sizes,” commented Turochas “T” Fuad, managing director of WeWork Southeast Asia in the statement.
Fuad founded Singapore-based co-working provider Spacemob, which was acquired by WeWork last August for an undisclosed amount, as the US brand announced a $500 million investment in the growth of its business in Southeast Asia and Korea. WeWork opened its first Southeast Asia location in Singapore, WeWork Beach Centre on Beach Road, last December.
In Jakarta, WeWork is moving into the 48-storey Sinarmas MSIG Tower through a partnership with Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, which owns the building serving as the headquarters for its subsidiary, Sinarmas MSIG Life.
Fuad revealed in an interview with TechCrunch that WeWork had agreed to a deal whereby the co-working operator will share its membership revenue with Sinar Mas. Indonesian B2B e-commerce startup Bizzy has already committed to take up more than half the space in the centre.
“As a game changer in the local industry, [WeWork’s entry into the tower] will inject new energy amongst our tenant base and boost the surrounding local economy,” said Teky Mailoa, CEO of Asset Management for Sinar Mas Land in the statement.
The 26-storey Revenue Tower is owned by property developer PT Danayasa Arthatama.
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In the announcement, WeWork also said that it was preparing its second location in Singapore, with WeWork 71 Robinson in the core business district slated to open by the end of the current quarter. The firm has a trio of additional Singaporean locations in the pipeline – WeWork 60 Anson Road, WeWork 22 Cross and WeWork Funan.
WeWork earlier this month snapped up Shanghai-based flexible office brand naked Hub for a reported $400 million, marking its first major acquisition in China as the company rapidly builds up its global network, now totalling 340 office locations across 65 cities.
WeWork did not provide further details about its expansion plans in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. The company’s career site lists three job openings for Account Executives in Bangkok, along with two such roles in Manila and one in Kuala Lumpur.