Malaysian co-working space WORQ raises $2.4m from seven investors

Malaysian co-working space WORQ said on Wednesday that it has secured RM10 million ($2.41 million) in funding from seven follow-on investors, including the regional investment group Phillip Capital, to help capture a fast-growing flexi-office market.

The firm has also secured loan offers from six banks including Affin Bank, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

“WORQ will use the funds to grow its space under management 10-fold to 1 million square feet, helping offices and businesses pivot to more cost-efficient workplace solutions following the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement.

WORQ was founded by Stephanie Ping, former Axis-REIT’s head of business development, and Andrew Yeow, a former fund manager, and equities analyst at CIMB Principal.

WORQ has been profitable since its inception in March 2017 with three months being the average time it takes to fill up its outlets. In the two years since its last fundraising, WORQ has grown its footprint by seven-fold and revenue by 560%.

“WORQ’s strategy is to offer tailor-made solutions and extreme flexibility to companies. WORQ sells office usage to companies one desk at a time, eliminating the need to rent and fit out an office. WORQ’s Space-On-Demand solutions allow companies to implement a distributed work style. In this new environment, WORQ can sell one desk multiple times and increase efficiency of space usage,” said co-founder Ping.

WORQ plans to go beyond providing office spaces and ultimately aims to induce collaboration by introducing a community workstyle. “A community workstyle is powerful because, at any moment that you need help, or someone to collaborate with, you will find great value in being able to tap into the community,” she said.

 WORQ will soon be launching its proprietary community app to create an online-offline experience for its users. “This spawns local communities everywhere, thereby canvassing the globe with productive hyper-localised communities all over the world. Ultimately, WORQ’s vision is to help people prosper by working together,” she added.

With its sustainable model, WORQ said it is able to help turnaround loss-making spaces even in quiet locations. The firm has made an acquisition of another flexible space into its portfolio for this purpose. WORQ is also looking to inorganically expand its portfolio via acquisitions and partnerships with other co-working space operators and landlords, it added.

It was reported in July 2018 that WORQ raised RM10 million ($2.48 million) in a crowdfunding round that included investors Bangsawan Consulting and Phillip Capital. This was the second funding round raised by the co-working space operator.

In February 2017, it had secured RM3.5 million ($786,782) from Malaysia’s Cradle Fund; SMG, an investment holding company co-founded by Jungle Ventures founding partner Anurag Srivastava; 500 Startups through its subsidiary 500 Durians; and other private investors.

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.