Southeast Asia’s co-working craze isn’t showing any signs of slowing down yet – even when it comes to venture funding.
GoWork, an Indonesian provider of shared workspaces, has secured US$9.97 million in a series A fundraise co-led by Kuala Lumpur-based VC firm Gobi Partners and Indonesian retail and hospitality property developer The Paradise Group.
Mahanusa Capital was among the other investors to join the round. 500 Startups’ Durians II fund is an existing investor.
GoWork runs 16 large-scale venues in Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali, as well as a number of smaller spaces. Over 8,000 individuals have signed up as GoWork members, while close to 600 companies use its workspaces. The startup claims that it has a 90 percent renewal rate among its members, and has consistently achieved occupancy rates of over 90 percent across all its locations within three months of opening a new venue.
Richard Lim, GoWork’s chief financial officer (CFO) and chief of real estate, said the company will use the series A funding to triple its footprint over the next year, with a goal of having 100,000 square meters of co-working space in operation by early 2020.
Funding has been flying into shared workspace operators in Indonesia and the wider region over the past year, as more startups get up and running and flexible work arrangements become more popular.
In the archipelago, EV Hive – also known as Cocowork – has raised a total of US$23.5 million since being spun out of VC firm East Ventures in May last year. It also counts SoftBank, Line, and Insignia Ventures Partners – the firm founded by ex-Sequoia Capital partner Tan Yinglan – among its backers.
GoWork itself is the result of a merger between an earlier startup with the same name, and fellow Indonesian co-working provider Rework. The combined company was initially known as Go-Rework, though it retained both legacy brands and ran them separately. GoWork focused on “premium” spaces in officer towers aimed at SMEs and multinationals, while Rework catered to tech startups with desk space in shopping malls.
As a result of the deal, Rework founder Vanessa Hendriadi became CEO of Go-Rework, while GoWork co-founders Lim and Donny Tandianus became CFO and chief technology officer, respectively.
Chinese co-working unicorn Ucommune – then known as UrWork – joined a US$3 million investment in Rework in September 2017 as part of a wider effort to counter the expansion of US rival WeWork, which acquired regional players including Spacemob and Naked Hub.
Singapore’s JustCo, which also focuses on “premium” workspaces, entered into a US$177 million co-investment deal with sovereign wealth fund GIC and developer Frasers Property to build and back co-working providers throughout the region.
Currency converted from Singapore dollars. Rate: US$1 = S$1.38
This article first appeared in Tech in Asia