As Thailand grows as a key player in the global market, more and more international companies are heading for the country and setting up shop. As a result, office and retail space Asoke and in other major business districts in the country are a premium, and companies are forced to find creative solutions for their corporate spacing needs.
So it is that co-working spaces became a thing in the country, having started out thanks to Amarit and Charle Charoenphan, who decided to set up shop in a small house in Ekamai after having troubles launching their business from their home.
Now, there are at least 100 co-working space companies in the country, which rent out space for companies, such as Glowfish which handles office and retail space Asoke, with more on the way, such as SathornThani, Cluster Offices at SSP Tower, and Kloud at Flourish Building on RatchadaphisekSoi 18, among others.
Mr. Amarit says that the country’s supply of co-working space is growing at a rate of 200% annually, and that demand has yet to catch up to this.
In spite of that, however, international co-working firms are looking to make their mark on Thailand’s market, and telecommunications companies are putting out supply into the market well below the usual pricings.
With the competition in the field heating up, local companies like Draft Board are offering members more space, by collaborating with their old competitors, in order to keep up with foreign arrivals.
Hubba, one of the companies using co-working spaces, says that it will advance away from them, by around 2019, when the transition from space operation firm to early-stage venture capital fund is complete.
These developments are notable, as the co-working market in Thailand is seeing some headway, as major players such as WeWork, recently valued at approximately US$20B, announced its plans to invest $500M in Korea and Southeast Asia, with plans for rapid expansion starting at Singapore.
Charle Charoenphan says that co-working space, despite its rapid growth, is not that much profitable compared to normal office space, due to Bangkok having a lot of options for corporate space. He adds that this is why Hubba is looking for other revenue streams, in particular, the company hopes to become a venture capital fund, which provides co-working space as an option for their invested companies. Amarit says that, given time, the co-working space could be a free bonus.