JustCo to expand to Japan with $74m in fresh capital

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Singapore-based co-working space operator JustCo has secured a total of US$74 million from Japan’s Daito Trust Construction.

According to a statement, the construction and real estate company will invest US$50 million in JustCo and US$24 million to form a joint venture with the co-working company.

The joint venture, JustCo DK Japan Co., will be 51% owned by Daito Trust and 49% owned by JustCo. The move, which enables JustCo to enter the Japanese market, is part of Daito Trust’s strategy to develop a comprehensive leasing and lifestyle business, according to a statement.

JustCo said the US$74 million injection will support its growth plan. In May 2018, the company announced a partnership with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and local developer Frasers Property to invest US$177 million in shared workspaces throughout Asia. Since then, JustCo has expanded its network from 14 centers in two cities to close to 40 centers across eight cities today.

The company’s expansion to Japan will extend its presence to eight key markets in Asia Pacific, including Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, according to a statement.

“The scale of the Japanese market opportunity will contribute significantly to the growth of JustCo. Japan is one of the key growth markets for us,” said founder and CEO Kong Wan Sing, adding that the company also aims to operate over 3 million square feet of spaces by 2021.

Asia’s co-working scene has been buzzing following WeWork’s unsuccessful attempt at an initial public offering.

Tech in Asia reported that the embattled co-working space operator was in talks to divest its business in China to local rival Kr Space. It could see the 36Kr spinoff acquiring all of WeWork’s co-working offices across 10 mainland China cities, but discussions are still ongoing.

In Indonesia, GoWork co-founder and CEO Vanessa Hendriadi shared with Tech in Asia some of the startup’s upcoming plans, which includes growing its space to 35,000 square meters by year-end and to 65,000 square meters by mid-2020.

Singapore also saw its first co-working laboratory and office space earlier this week through the launch of NSG BioLabs, a new incubator for biotech startups.

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