Vietnam’s co-working space operator Toong will now be present across the Indochina markets with its entry into Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this month, founder & CEO Duong Do told DEALSTREETASIA in an exclusive interview.
He said, many of Toong’s customers were active in all three countries of Indochina including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Therefore, building the co-working space model in all three markets will facilitate the movement of customers.
“By the end of the year, Toong will increase its total floor area from 6,000 sq m to 13,000 sq m including Laos and Cambodia markets, enabling it to become one of the largest co-working space chains in Indochina,” he stressed. “In Vietnam, Toong has a total of seven co-working spaces across Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and is expected to add 3,000 sq m in each city this year.”
The new centre (Cambodia) is a continuation of Toong’s plan to expand overseas after it launched a co-working space in the heart of Vientiane, Laos in collaboration with Vietnam’s real estate developer BIM Group last month. The new outlet in Cambodia covers an area of 700 sq m, located in central of Phnom Penh, with a design style aligned to the Khmer culture.
Co-working spaces are a new concept in Laos and Cambodia where traditional office models still rule the market.
In April, Toong officially announced Toong Minh Khai in Ho Chi Minh City which is considered its flagship for its new co-working space model. In this model, Toong incorporates many partners to provide services in different areas such as fitness, Yoga, marketing, dance, exhibitions, and movies to cover more activities.
He said, the integrated model will be deployed across all Toong centres going forward.
Toong, which opened its first centre in Hanoi in August 2015, secured over $300,000 from two angel investors in the real estate and ICT sectors. Toong’s joint initiative with CapitaLand Vietnam called Oxygen was launched in March 2017.
Recently, Toong and Indochina Vanguard, a hospitality joint venture between Indochina Capital and Singapore-based Vanguard Hotels, announced a partnership to integrate Toong co-working space facilities into newly created Wínk Hotels.
Co-working space has expanded rapidly in the two main cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at an average growth rate of 58 per cent, according to a report from real estate consultant CBRE. As of 2017, there are about 17 co-working space operators across the country.
Regina Lim, National Director, Advisory & Research, Capital Markets, at JLL suggests that “by 2030, co-working spaces could make up 10 to 15 per cent of office stock in Southeast Asia, compared to only 1 to 5 per cent today.”
The JLL report also noted that while many of Southeast Asia’s co-working spaces are located in bustling cities, a growing number are setting up in more exotic locations to cater to digital nomads who have the flexibility to work wherever there’s wifi connectivity.