PE firm AIGF invests in PH coworking space provider KMC Solutions

KMC Frabelle 18th floor coworking area. Photo from company website.

Philippines-based coworking and flexible workspace provider KMC Solutions announced today that it has received investment from Singapore private equity firm ASEAN Industrial Growth Fund (AIGF) to further fuel its aggressive expansion plans.

KMC was founded in 2010 by Michael McCullough, Greg Kittelson and Amanda Rufino-Carpo, the people behind KMC Mag Group of Companies, which includes KMC Savills, Inc. and Kittelson & Carpo, Inc. Its current portfolio includes over 36 office floors in 21 buildings throughout Metro Manila, Cebu, and Iloilo.

An ISO-certified company headquartered in BGC, KMC Solutions caters to a wide array of enterprises — tech start-ups, information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) firms, and multinational banks, among others.

In a statement released today, KMC said the undisclosed amount of investment from AIGF will help the company achieve its growth plan and create more value alongside the current shareholders.

AIGF, the investor in this funding round, was launched in 2015 by Japan’s largest trading company Mitsubishi Corporation, together with CIMB Group and Development Bank of Japan Inc (DBJ).

“AIGF believes that KMC Solutions has a very strong market-leading position as the company has developed a set of value propositions that has enabled it to capture a sizeable market share in the Philippines,” the PE firm said.

Flexible workspace providers were among the leading space occupiers in the Philippines, alongside business process outsourcing and online gaming firms, in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the Outlook of the Philippine Real Estate Industry in 2019 report released by JLL in January.

Forecasts on the country’s office sector remain positive for 2019. On the supply side, a large volume of office space is anticipated to be added this year while on the demand side, office occupancy from BPO, online gaming, and flexible workspace firms show optimistic outlook with pre-commitments on office buildings in the pipeline, according to the report.

Last month, property developer Megaworld has signed up the world’s largest flexible office space provider WeWork to set up its first Philippine hub. It is opening its second Philippine hub at RCBC Plaza in Makati later this year.

International Workplace Group (IWG) also opened its first Philippine branch in December under the coworking space brand Spaces.

Malaysia-based coworking space operator Common Ground is also further expanding in the Philippines with the upcoming official launch of its second coworking site in the country, which features 214 seats. The firm first opened in the country on November 21, 2018.

“More local providers of co-working and co-living spaces are also expected to emerge, typically operating in fringe areas. The lower capital costs these types of assets require will spark investor interest,” according to the JLL report.

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