Entrepreneur

What This Award-Winning Co-Working Space Plans To Use Their RM10 Mil Funding On

  • Co-working space WORQ have announced their success in acquiring RM10 million in crowdfunding, with Bangsawan Consulting and Phillip Capital coming on as new investors.
  • They plan to use this new funding to expand to new areas and build upon their existing hyper-localised approach, with a new premises opening in Subang Jaya later this year.
  • CEO Stephanie Ping also welcomed the arrival of more co-working spaces in Malaysia and thinks that it will improve the quality of the overall co-working market.

Today, award-winning co-working space WORQ announced a successful crowdfunding round that saw them acquire RM10 million in funding from new investors including Bangsawan Consulting and Phillip Capital.

Since opening its doors in 2016, WORQ has managed to gain recognition as a community-driven co-working space, reaching full occupancy within 2 months of opening and winning accolades such as Best Coworking Space at the 2017 ASEAN Ricebowl Awards and the Member’s Choice Award by Coworker.com.

Last November, WORQ even held the privilege of hosting His Royal Highness Prince Charles during his visit to Malaysia, giving him a glimpse into Malaysian entrepreneurship and how the startup ecosystem here operated.

“We are a hyper-localised community space, which means that we build local communities everywhere,” explained WORQ CEO Stephanie Ping. “If you need to plug into the local community, you come to us and each hyperlocal community is unique and has its own culture and flavour.”

“This approach helps us offer truly useful resources to people on the ground—I’m talking about things you can’t Google or get from the Internet.”

“As an entrepreneur, this is so valuable and our customers love it. Real-estate partners that we work with as their tenants also love our presence as this truly builds in their developments a robust ‘mini Silicon Valley’, if you will.”

WORQ has now been certified as one of Malaysia’s Digital Hubs—spaces that afford startups and entrepreneurs access to top-level amenities such as high-speed broadband and IP protection, funding opportunities, access to mentors, and lower business operating costs.

Value Begets More Value

On their funding success, Stephanie explained that it was the hyper-localised and supportive nature of their space as well as the fiscal value they brought to the market that led to their success in roping in new investors Bangsawan Consulting and Phillip Capital.

“Bangsawan Consulting are actually our clients,” she said. “We thought that it was such a testimony to our product and community to have your own customers invest in you.”

“Phillip Capital are a truly supportive company who have been advising us from the start,” she added. “Even though they are a financial services company with little to do with co-working spaces, they saw our potential in being financially stable and our ability to build value. That’s why they decided to invest in us this round, and we’re truly grateful for their support.”

The co-working space intends to use their newly-acquired funds to expand to more locations and increase their community-building efforts, with a new premises in UOA Business Park in Subang Jaya slated to open in October.

UOA Business Park / Image Credit: WORQ

“It will be similar yet different,” Stephanie said. “As each location is a hyper-localised space, Subang will have its own characteristics and flavour—it will cater to entrepreneurs there, and it will build a community that serves the needs of the people there.”

The new UOA location will be approximately 22,000 square feet and will be able to house 79 private offices. Additionally WORQ will be expanding to more locations within the Klang Valley.

Also, Stephanie gave her thoughts on the co-working ecosystem in Malaysia, saying that the amount of new spaces opening up locally would only serve to improve the overall quality of the overall scene—from small student-focused spaces all the way to large corporate-orientated ones.

“As the market increases in competition, you’ll see more differentiation and ways to cater to the needs of each segment,” she said. “In the end, we believe that all co-working spaces can work together to provide a much better experience for all our customers and usher in a new way of doing things.”

“It’s very exciting times and WORQ is very happy to see these changes in the market.”

Feature Image Credit: WORQ

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