US$17b New York company wants in on Asia's growth

WeWork opening first regional offices in Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 June, 2016, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 June, 2016, 2:22pm

From The Hub to The Hive, there's no shortage of co-working spaces popping up throughout Asia.

Now, New York-based, shared workspace company WeWork is planning to expand in the region this year by opening initial locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul, according to a senior executive.

WeWork currently has 100 locations across the world and the company's valuation is pegged at US$17 billion by some accounts.

In a recent round of funding, the company raised US$780 million.

"WeWork has a real focus and belief that we're building a global network of entrepreneurs and businesses," Michael Gross, WeWork's Vice-Chairman, said Converge, a tech conference in Hong Kong.

WeWork prides itself on its culture, where it regularly hosts pitch events for entrepreneurs to have access to advice and even funding.

Recently, WeWork has pushing to expand its member base from predominantly entrepreneurs and freelancers, to enterprise companies including the likes of GE, Dell, IBM and Microsoft. "The second biggest fixed cost for most companies is real estate, so we're giving companies a much more affordable solution," Gross said.

In addition to branching toward enterprise members, WeWork is also expanding its services and testing out spaces where members actually live together, called, WeLive.