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.