EV Hive, a network of co-working spaces in Indonesia, is expanding. By the end of the year it plans to operate three new locations in Jakarta, in addition to the four it runs now.
Originally part of venture capital firm East Ventures, the co-working space unit is preparing to spin out as an independent business. It’s target: the growing global trend of flexible office arrangements.
A new management team, headed by CEO Carlson Lau, is now in change of EV Hive’s development.
“We want to be a neutral platform,” Lau tells Tech in Asia.
While members still benefit from being part of East Ventures’ network, EV Hive is open to collaborating with other VC firms, accelerators, and startup hubs across the region.
First steps have been taken in this direction. For its location in Tangerang, a city close to Jakarta, it’s partnering with another VC firm, SMDV, as well as real estate developer Sinar Mas Land. More recently, EV Hive set up a collaboration with Singapore’s BASH co-working space.
One of the first measures Lau introduced is a new pricing scheme for individuals who drop in and set themselves up on whatever space is available. For US$75 a month, they have access to all EV Hive locations in Indonesia.
In addition to membership fees, Lau plans to generate revenue by offering tenants deals on things like corporates services, workshops, or even gym subscriptions.
In his past job working at a private equity firm in Jakarta, Lau says he’s evaluated hundreds of companies. Often a company couldn’t scale or failed due to the lack of a professional support network, he found. That’s where he thinks co-working spaces can make a difference.
Members aren’t isolated, can attend workshops, and learn from each other. “For all the digital disruption, at the end of the day we are social animals,” says Lau.
EV Hive isn’t targeting tech startups only but hopes to address a wider group of freelancers and small business owners.
It has two types of arrangements with landlords: it either rents the space or enters a revenue-sharing agreement with the owner.
To landlords, co-working is an attractive proposition, Lau says. The community that forms around these spaces can help attract more businesses to an office building.
Skin in the game
The new management team, which also includes Jason Lee (CFO) and Ethan Choi (CSO), says it invested US$800,000 out of its own pocket, calling this a “pre-series A funding round.”
Co-working as a business opportunity is increasingly attracting the attention of venture capital.
US company WeWork raked in a total of over one billion dollars in VC cash to scale its co-working concept across the globe. It recently launched its first locations in Southeast Asia. WeWork is now apparently raising even more.
In Indonesia, there’s Xwork, similar to Flyspaces. Other local co-working spaces like Freeware, which is managed by VC firm Grupara, are also gearing up for expansion, opening new locations across Jakarta.
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