JustCo, one of Asia Pacific’s leading flexible workspace providers, has set its sights on doubling its presence across Asia Pacific in 2020. This will strengthen its regional network across more than 11 major cities, including Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Taipei, Seoul, Melbourne, Sydney and Shanghai.
In 2019, JustCo grew by more than 150% year-on-year in total area managed in co-working spaces, largely spurred by the continued demand of both multi-national and local clients who are increasingly seeing the value of co-working, particularly the use of workspace smart technologies that make their work lives easier. During the year, JustCo doubled the number of enterprise clients served across its various markets, including Novartis in Taiwan, General Electric and Grand Thornton in Thailand, Expedia in Australia, as well as Fave in Singapore. This unprecedented demand for coworking spaces is evident not only from large corporates, but also from start-ups and small and medium enterprises like KILSA Global, NewCampus and Tech In Asia in Singapore.
“Our growth to date has been on the back of client demand as more of our members recognise our value in making work better for them. This, we firmly believe is the most sustainable way to expand our business. In addition, beyond just physical spaces, our greater purpose is to build a mega network and community within and across markets – one that helps companies and individuals realise the synergies, efficiencies and opportunities of a shared workspace. In just over a year, our member base has grown by 100% and this is set to grow further with changing workforce demographics.” said Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kong Wan Sing.
Strategic partnerships have been vital to JustCo’s expansion. Since the US$177m investment from GIC and Frasers Property in May 2018, JustCo has expanded its network from 14 centres in two cities to 42 centres across eight cities today. Partnerships in the form of joint ventures and management contracts have also been secured with established conglomerates across the region, including Frasers Property and Sansiri in Thailand, Gunung Sewu in Indonesia, GuocoLand and Verizon in Singapore, and most recently, Japanese real estate giant, Daito Trust. Collectively, the expanded network of centres and growing demand will contribute substantially to revenue growth in 2020.
In fostering such partnerships, JustCo has been able to leverage the regional network of GIC and Frasers Property to take on new leases and secure co-working spaces within iconic buildings in prime locations. For instance, JustCo opened its first centre in Korea at the Seoul Finance Center, owned and managed by GIC, and in Singapore, JustCo recently opened a new centre on the second storey of Cross Street Exchange (formerly known as China Square Central), a portfolio property of Frasers Commercial Trust, which is one of Frasers Property’s stable of REITs.
Mall locations hit the spot for JustCo with two new centres in retail malls
JustCo picks The Centrepoint, another Frasers property – for its new ‘smart’ co-working centre and headquarters and foodie central Amarin Plaza in Bangkok as its fourth location in Thailand.
The new centre at The Centrepoint will be JustCo’s 19th co-working centre in Singapore and the company’s second location along Orchard Road after MacDonald House, which opened in 2018. It will also be its second centre in a retail mall, following the success of its centre at Marina Square, where it brought vibrancy to the tenant mix as well as drove foot traffic to the mall.
Kong Wan Sing commented, “Malls in the city see annual footfall of over 30 million compared to approximately 120,000 in an office building in the CBD, and we believe that there is a huge untapped opportunity in the retail space segment.”
The 60,000 square foot centre at The Centrepoint will be the largest co-working centre along Orchard Road and will be JustCo’s first ‘smart’ co-working centre in Singapore, leveraging proprietary technologies and tapping data analytics to enhance the overall workspace experience, bringing added convenience and ease of navigation to members. Highlights include a robot butler, cardless access with facial recognition capability, and a digital wayfinder.
Scheduled to open in Q3 2020, the new centre spanning three levels will pilot JustCo’s first Pay Per Minute (PPM) concept whereby members of the public can walk in and enjoy the flexible use of JustCo’s spaces and amenities such as the hot-desking area, lounge, seminar rooms, meeting rooms and phone booths, and pay as they use via the JustCo mobile app. In addition, the new centre will also house a café, which will be accessible to both JustCo members and the public, encouraging networking opportunities.
“This year, our focus will be to deepen our technological capabilities to create smart, digital workplaces that will serve JustCo members across our network more seamlessly and efficiently.” Kong Wan Sing added.
The centre at Amarin Plaza will be JustCo’s fourth centre in Bangkok. Located in the prime Ratchaprasong district, the centre at over 4,000 sq metres, will have the capacity to host 1,000 members. Directly accessible by the Chit Lom BTS, the mixed-use building boasts both retail (including department store Sogo) and office space and is well-known for its Thai street food dining hall concept. JustCo’s centre at Amarin Plaza will open in Q3.
JustCo’s growth has also seen the rapid expansion of its team, with a headcount of more than 300 employees across the region today, double what it was a year ago. This year, JustCo expects to grow its headcount by 30% across various functions from real estate management, and strategic investment, to digital innovation and enterprise business development.
In 2020, factors such as changing demographics, growing demand by enterprise clients, strategic business partnerships, investments and technological developments in workspace design will continue to be important drivers for JustCo’s growth across the region.