The two new WeWork locations will be in Ho Chi Minh City, a company spokesperson said. The company launched its first location in Vietnam in March this year at E. Town Central in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 4.
The company’s proposed Southeast Asia expansion comes against the backdrop of an abandoned initial public offering (IPO) due to investor concerns over its lofty valuation and a $9.5-billion bailout by investor SoftBank Group Corp.
The rescue package from SoftBank, which includes $5 billion in new financing, offered a lifeline to WeWork parent We Co., which was on track to run out of money this month. The company has been on a cost-cutting spree after it pulled its IPO paperwork in September and was said to be considering curbing its expansion in China.
Vietnam witnesses surge in shared workspaces
Shared workplaces in Vietnam have grown on the back of a boom in the local startup ecosystem. The market is witnessing the rise of local brands such as Dreamplex, Toong (backed by Indochina Capital), CirCo (backed by East Ventures), COGO and others.
Northstar managing director Bert Kwan recently confirmed the PE firm’s investment in co-working space provider UPGen, which we understand was in the region of $15 million.
UPGen, formerly known as Up, currently operates 13 workplaces in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and plans to expand to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur this year.
Meanwhile, Toong has 14 locations, including two in Laos and Cambodia with a total area of over 20,000 square meters.