JustCo is eager to become southeast Asia’s answer to WeWork, and the Singapore-based flexible office startup has taken a step towards achieving that goal by opening what it says is the city’s largest interconnected co-working centre.
At 40,000 square feet (3,700 square metres), JustCo’s new space at the UIC Building on Shenton Way in Singapore’s central business district stretches across two floors and will be capable of accommodating more than 1,000 desks, according to a statement by the company.
“We can help put new start ups in touch with the right people to give them a head-start plus give our partners access to Singapore’s most promising businesses,” says JustCo founder and CEO, Wan Sing Kong. “We’re already working closely with some very influential businesses and want to link these parties together.”
Creating a Flexible Place to Work
The new centre, which is slated to open in May, is fitted out with the usual mix of private offices and shared spaces, the facility includes phone booths for private calls and lockers for storage. The UIC location also adds a “transformer room” that can work as a meeting room one day and an event space the next.
“We’ve paid extra attention to the details so that we give our members the right balance of access to the community but privacy when they need it.” says, Wan Sing Kong. “As with our existing workspaces, the events area with be central to the space and will be able to hold a few hundred people including a wall of tiered seating to heighten the atmosphere.“
Originally seen as homes for small teams and startups, the popularity of co-working centres has made US standard-bearer WeWork into New York’s biggest office tenant, and driven the company to a $16 billion valuation. In China, co-working startup naked Hub has already established more than seven centres in Shanghai, including a 12,200 square metre facility in Gubei.
JustCo’s Four and Counting
The UIC Building location marks JustCo’s fourth co-working space in Singapore, in addition to the existing 120 Robinson Road and 6 Raffles Quay locations. In May, JustCo will also be opening a location at the Marina One tower in Marina Bay, making it the first co-working centre to open in the prime commercial building which is also home to the likes of Facebook and Julius Baer.
JustCo is the co-working spinoff of JustOffice, a serviced office provider which has five locations in Singapore and another two in Shanghai.
JustCo prides itself on being the largest co-working space provider in Singapore and remains positive about the prospects of hotdesking millennials wanting centrally located work-spaces on the cheap. Desk Magazine conducted a Global Co-Working Survey which predicted that one million people around the world will be working in 14,000 co-working stations by the end of 2017. DropBox, Line Corp and CloudFlare are already among the major clients in JustCo’s co-living spaces.
“Previously offices with game rooms, hip breakout areas and cafes were reserved for the likes of Silicon Valley big names like Google and Facebook,” says Kong, adding that the co-working boom allows businesses of any size to enjoy this type of workspace.
Demand is on the rise for co-working spaces in Singapore, with more than 50 such spaces in the Lion City according to real estate company Cushman and Wakefield — up by more than a fifth from the previous year. Even Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund sees the benefit in these growing co-working hubs; GIC last month invested $14.55 million in a start-up project called 5Lmeet founded by former China Vanke executive Mao Daqing.