Malaysia’s co-working space operator Common Ground in talks to raise $20m

Malaysia’s largest co-working space operator Common Ground is in advanced talks with a slew of risk capital investors to raise $20 million in an upcoming mid-Series B round, said its co-founder Erman Akinci.

“We have secured $18 million. We hope to finalise it by the end of February,” Akinci told DealStreetAsia.

He declined to reveal the details of the investors but indicated they would likely include a large Japanese private equity fund and several local venture capital funds.

Stung by the WeWork debacle, the Central Group-backed co-working player held back its funding plans last year.

“We were struggling a bit because we started to raise the funds around the end of the Q3 or beginning of the Q4. With the whole ‘WeWork’ story, it made things very difficult,” said Akinci.

But Akinci is confident in achieving his funding target this year, as he sees improved investor sentiment.

“We see a huge surge in investor interest over last month. They are looking for the growth stories in Southeast Asia,” said Akinci.

The funding this year will be mainly used to grow its co-working space in the Philippines and Thailand.

Common Ground also plans to expand into Ho Chi Minh this year. “We are in advance talks with a Vietnamese firm, the partnership is expected to be concluded by this year,” said Akinci.

The total co-working space it operates is expected to increase to 670,000 square feet this year, from 372,000 currently.

“We had revised the size to be more in line with what we were seeing in the take-up rate. Midway through last year, we also decided to focus on driving the profitability,” he added.

According to him, the group will turn profitable this year, after breaking even last year.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.