As they strengthen their foothold in key cities across Asia.
American shared workspace and services provider WeWork has announced it will acquire Singapore-based coworking space startup Spacemob, following the announcement of a $500m investment to driving growth in Southeast Asia and Korea.
The investment follows WeWork’s other moves to expand throughout Asia, namely a $500m investment with SoftBank and Hony Capital in a bid to build a strong foothold in China, and a joint venture with SoftBank to bring WeWork in Japan.
Their partnership with Spacemob is seen as a move to further strengthen their foothold in key locations in Asia. “Today's announcement reaffirms WeWork's commitment to scaling our business across Asia,” says Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer of WeWork. “To be part of WeWork is to be connected to one of the most meaningful business networks in the world and we are excited to invite new members from some of the most creative and innovative cities on the globe.”
Spacemob was founded early last year and has grown quickly with multiple locations in Singapore, with plans to launch coworking spaces in Indonesia and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, WeWork was founded in 2010 in New York City. It has grown to more than 130,000 members across more than 163 locations in 52 cities and 15 countries that use its spaces, communities and services.
This newest investment looks to crank up WeWork’s membership and presence in populous Southeast Asia where demand for coworking spaces is rising, especially in Singapore where startup investments are booming and traditional office rentals are too expensive for most entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, other major Southeast Asian cities are embracing trends in freelancing and remote working, which generates a need for more coworking spaces.
“The [Southeast Asia] region represents close to nine percent of the world’s population, it is an exciting market full of budding entrepreneurs, enterprises and creators, and that is a massive opportunity for WeWork,” says Turochas “T” Fuad, the founder and CEO of Spacemob and newly appointed Managing Director of Southeast Asia for WeWork. “I know that we will have a meaningful impact on these communities. My team and I cannot wait to get started on what promises to be an incredible journey.”
“The region has so much potential, I have no doubt that current and future WeWork members in Asia -- and especially in Korea -- will thrive and contribute in a positive and meaningful way to WeWork’s global community. It’s going to be exciting to be part of it and I’m ready for the challenge,” says Matt Shampine, Head of Marketing and Revenue for Asia and newly appointed General Manager of Korea for WeWork.
Fuad, who will oversee WeWork’s expansion in Southeast Asia, and Shampine, whose digital agency became a founding member of WeWork Labs and expertise played a key role in the company’s entry and expansion in Asia, will both report to Christian Lee, Managing Director of WeWork Asia.
“I’m delighted to welcome T and Matt to the Asia management team. Both are seasoned entrepreneurs with deep roots in Southeast Asia and they will be invaluable as we scale the business across the region,” says Lee. “Matt’s WeWork experience -- as both a member and an employee -- will be critical as we expand our offerings in Korea. With Spacemob, T and his team will accelerate our efforts to establish WeWork in key Southeast Asia markets.”
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