It’s hard to miss the prominent ShopBack sign at the front of what once was a rundown school building at Pasir Panjang Road. The launch of CAMPUS by ShopBack today (July 1) marks the online platform’s strong regional growth in Asia Pacific, following its recent US$80 million funding.
Spanning 88,000 square feet, the site retains the framework of the original school, modernised with a strong contrast of a slate grey roof against white walls, black trim around the windows, and black arch doors.
The launch ceremony was kicked off by Henry Chan, co-founder and CEO of ShopBack, who first reminisced about building IKEA flatpacks for their first-ever office eight years ago.
Over the past eight years, we’ve observed the evolution of our business — from an online platform to an omnichannel shopping ecosystem. Back then, I never would have imagined we’d have anything like CAMPUS to call our own.
With the launch of our Singapore HQ, we seek to further fulfil our mission to enhance the offerings provided, by partnering merchants to bring our services to more shoppers in the region.– Henry Chan, co-founder and CEO of ShopBack
Online platform to innovation hub
ShopBack uses the school as a metaphor, to build a link between growing a business and continuous learning by bringing employees back to the nostalgic days of their adolescence.
“Learning doesn’t stop in school,” adds Henry.
The overall design embraces ShopBack’s main values: collaboration and innovation, growth and learning, and most importantly good memories — similar to one’s schooling experience.
In CAMPUS’ Assembly Area, the floor-to-ceiling windows let in bright yet filtered natural light. A giant screen is the main focal point of the space, and facing that are staggered platforms framed with cement-finished bookshelves, which serve as a seating area for townhall meetings.
On non-event days, the Assembly Area has tables and chairs laid out, as well as a table-tennis table in the middle; perfect for when employees need an entertainment break.
Exiting ShopBack’s main area, the CAMPUS building also shares the ground floor with Third Space, a content creator studio.
Third Space’s area extends into a full kitchen and pantry and two fully-equipped studio and editing spaces through a corridor accented by glass-panelled arch doors.
Collaborative spaces for continuous innovation
ShopBack’s collaborative workspace design trends translate to the offices on the second and third floor as well. Highlighting the second floor is a lengthy bar and pantry area, fitted with sockets. The bar is also utilised for more than just lunch, but also after-hours socialising.
A unique signature of ShopBack’s offices is its Y-shaped cluster seating arrangement on both the second and third floors, making it easier for employees to communicate, collaborate and ideate.
To the left of the bar on the second floor, hotdesk seating is dedicated to the Human Resource (HR), Data, Design, Risk, and Engineering teams.
Scattered on both ends are enclosed meeting rooms. The second floor meeting rooms are named after ShopBack’s mascots — Penny, Nick, Bill, and Happy Bag — as well as things reminiscent of the old campus such as numbers 71 and 77.
A mural detailing ShopBack’s journey leads you up to the third floor which houses the Business Development and Marketing teams. Here, the meeting rooms are named after popular food from different parts of the region such as ‘Jollibee’, ‘Xiao Long Bao’, and ‘Martabak’ — a tribute to the countries that ShopBack has made its mark on.
Aside from the meeting rooms and office desks, there are also comfortable lounge spaces in between to encourage even more socialisation.
ShopBack is actively hiring now
Having CAMPUS contributes to our innovation and Singapore’s e-commerce. As a company, we can continue to innovate and be a part of our customer’s lives from online to offline. We present the customer with flexibility and control over their finances, as well as options.– Fern Nannaphat, Country General Manager of ShopBack
CAMPUS will serve as a data science research & development (R&D) hub, comprising a 50-strong team of data scientists, machine learning engineers, data analysts, UI/UX designers, and software engineers.
ShopBack eventually seeks to further expand its capabilities in financial services, with its newest acquisition of hoolah and its recent launch of ShopBack Pay.
To date, it has hired over 300 regionally across the past six months to facilitate its growth. It’s also looking to bring onboard new hires in areas of payments, compliance, and engineering-related roles before the year ends.
Starting out with just six team members in 2014, CAMPUS will now house over 220 employees based in Singapore. Since inception, it has also racked up S$3.5 billion in annual sales for 10,000 online and in-store merchants across 10 markets.
Featured Image Credit: ShopBack