- OpenSpace is a co-working space “passport” that allows you access to 20 different co-working spaces across Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines.
- It was created by a co-founder of OpenMinds Resources, and was intended to be part of a larger set before they decided to pivot.
- They hope that this passport will help organically build a community.
There is clearly a market for the new paradigm of office culture of co-working spaces in Malaysia. This is just an observation based it on the rate of new co-working spaces opening, the high occupancy rates, and also spaces being able to hit profitability in just 3 months.
Instead of only having access to one co-working space at a time, this app instead offers the possibility of choosing from 20 different offices—all across Southeast Asia.
Said to be designed for digital nomads, the “passports” into co-working spaces come in two flavours.
The first is a local passport for co-working spaces within your own country for US$35 for 3 passes (approximately RM45 per pass).
The second is the international passport, sold at US$275 for 5 passes (or approximately RM213 per pass).
Currently, both of these passes are usable within 365 days of purchase, for co-working spaces in Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines.
Some of the more notable spaces on their platform include H Space, Co-labs, The Outpost in Singapore, and Builtable in the Philippines.
Daryll confirmed that they are pending “promising partnerships” with co-working spaces in Indonesia, Australia, Vietnam and Thailand. The team told us that they have already reached out to 200+ more co-working spaces across Asia.
This all started because they wanted to open up resources to budding entrepreneurs.
In our interview with Daryll, he revealed that:
“We have always realised a lack of support and guidance in the startup scene, as we too were a startup. As ambitious as we are, we decided to widen the resource pool by developing a new business dedicated to providing both mentorship and vendor services, coupled with physical meeting spots like co-working spaces and cafés.”
OpenMinds wanted to build an app that hooks entrepreneurs up with the less sexy bits of business: incorporation, accountancy, audit, lawyer, IP services.
OpenSpace was supposed to be an extension of this—a way for students, entrepreneurs and businesspeople get face-to-face mentorship in either co-working spaces or cafés.
A couple of months down the road, they realised one major setback. They needed to grow a community first.
“So, we pivoted and concentrated on offering the simplest and most direct form of community building: allowing for like-minded talents to seamlessly work in a more conducive and thriving environment while building a wider community of their own and with lesser strings attached.”
As for the co-working spaces, they get to fill up their available hotdesks, while opening up their market to more international eyes.
“This is only Phase 1 of many,” said Daryll.
“We are still planning to execute the bigger picture of mentorship and resources, this will take careful planning and multiple ready partnerships to grow our brand and product.”
Once they’ve solidified their presence in Asia, OpenSpace aims to shifting back to what was their original goal—sharing resources with everyone from digital nomads to freelancers.
The prices do seem on the steep side, especially if you take into account that you can find co-working spaces that offer you passes for as low as RM20 a day. However, it’s fairly clear that the purpose of these passes isn’t just to give you a place to work—what you’re actually paying for is access to the different communities across the various co-working spaces, and the flexibility to move from one to the other if you’re always on the go.
Feature Image Credit: Open Space