WeWork acquires Singapore’s Spacemob, to invest $500m in SE Asia, South Korea

A WeWork location in Shanghai. Source: WeWork website

WeWork Cos., the world’s largest provider of shared work spaces, will invest $500 million in Southeast Asia and South Korea, as the New York-based company steps up its expansion in global markets.

As part of the effort, WeWork will acquire Spacemob, a Singapore-based co-working startup founded in early 2016 by entrepreneur Turochas “T” Fuad and backed by Vertex Ventures and Alpha JWC Ventures. WeWork declined to disclose the value of the deal.

WeWork, which will absorb Spacemob’s team of about 20 people, appointed founder Fuad as its managing director of Southeast Asia. WeWork also named Matt Shampine, currently head of marketing and revenue for Asia, as general manager of Korea.

“Both are seasoned entrepreneurs,” Christian Lee, managing director of WeWork Asia, said in a phone interview. “It was just a really obvious decision to bring them on board to significantly accelerate growth.”

The expansion is the latest in Asia for WeWork as it takes its model of co-working spaces to new markets beyond the U.S. In recent weeks, it has announced a $500 million investment from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Hony Capital to expand its business in China. The firm has also announced a joint venture with SoftBank to start operations in Japan.

“Given who our partners are, and given WeWork’s speed, you can expect to see buildings coming soon,” Lee said. “We will be in Japan in a major way.”

WeWork, said to be valued at about $20 billion, is seeing robust growth in South Korea since opening its office less than a year ago, according to Lee.

“Korea’s been great for us,” Lee said. “There are a lot of economic changes that are going on, and we can play a huge role in helping companies of all sizes.”

In Asia, WeWork faces competition from local rivals such as UrWork, a Chinese company that opened up co-working space in Singapore earlier this year.

Still, Lee said WeWork can stand out by offering 130,000 members access to more than 163 locations in 52 cities across 15 countries. “There may be local competition, but there is really no one that’s bridging this global platform,” he said.

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WeWork launches China unit with $500m funding from Hony, SoftBank

Bloomberg

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.