WeWork makes its foray into Malaysia with biggest co-working space in Southeast Asia

The common area of WeWork's first location in Equatorial Plaza, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

New York-based co-working space operator WeWork has landed in Malaysia with its first location in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur slated to open in early 2019, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The startup also said it will partner with Daman Land through a revenue share agreement, who will act as an intermediary to help WeWork scout for different locations across Malaysia.

Located in Equatorial Plaza, Kuala Lumpur, the first WeWork office in Malaysia will have the capacity to accommodate 1,900 members across five floors – the largest in Southeast Asia.

According to WeWork, entering Malaysia is part of the startup’s commitment to expand its footprint in the region as it seeks to grow to 16 locations with more than 11,000 desks in Southeast Asia within a year. Other cities in the region with WeWork locations include Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok.

“Together with our partner Daman Land, this represents the beginning of our journey in Malaysia. As a gateway into the ASEAN economy, our presence in Kuala Lumpur will broaden the potential for our members to connect, operate and grow beyond borders. We provide a one-stop solution in terms of design, build out to management and – leveraging our brand value, global footprint and strong member base – we look forward to partnering with landlords as we further build our presence in Malaysia and beyond,” said WeWork Southeast Asia managing director Turochas Fuad.

Founded in 2010, WeWork now has over 320,000 members across 355 worldwide locations. Fresh from raising $3 billion from SoftBank, WeWork will be opening its first location in the Philippines this month. Last month, it launched its innovation platform for early-stage startups WeWork Labs in Singapore.

In June, Malaysia’s Catcha Group-backed Common Ground has closed a $20 million Series A round to fuel its regional expansion into Thailand and the Philippines. Other co-working space operators in Southeast Asia include WORQ, Impact Hub, Toong, COCOWORK (formerly known as EV Hive), Campfire as well as Collective Works, which was recently acquired by the newly-formed JV between Singapore-based property developer CapitaLand and co-working space operator The Work Project.

Elsewhere in Asia, WeWork’s China unit has raised $1 billion in debt from SoftBank and a $500 million Series B this year to fuel its growth and operations in the Chinese market where it plans to expand into more new cities this year.

Meanwhile, WeWork’s Chinese rival, Ucommune, has recently raised a $200-million Series D by end of the year, paving the way for an IPO early next year, this portal had reported. Another industry player, MyDreamPlus, had also raised $120 million.

Also read:

WeWork raises $3b in fresh funding from SoftBank

Chinese co-working major Ucommune raises $200m, valuation jumps to $3b