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Three Coworking Brands Merge to Form Largest Network in APAC

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Announced last week, three major coworking brands have merged together to form what they claim will become “the largest operator of flexible workspaces in Asia-Pacific.” The brands that are merging under one umbrella to form The Flexi Group include The Hive, Common Ground, and The Cluster.

With this merger, The Flexi Group will boast a portfolio of 45 locations across 12 cities and 9 countries — including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan. The new group will also offer holistic membership solutions for businesses of all sizes, ranging from typical coworking memberships to full-service enterprise and white labeled management solutions.

This first merger, in a series of planned consolidation activities, is supported by investment from Singapore-based Catcha Group and Malaysia-based Emissary Capital. It is also a step in the direction of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that will enable The Flexi Group to consolidate the region’s flexible workspace industry and to lead the future of work in Asia Pacific and beyond.

“We are delighted to launch The Flexi Group as the leading provider of flexible workspaces in the Asia-Pacific region. The pandemic has changed the way the world works, with businesses of all sizes shifting their workplace strategies towards flexible solutions, employee wellbeing, and collaborative spaces, and we are excited to be at the forefront of that trend,” said Chris Edwards, CEO of The Flexi Group.

Unlike other flexible workspace companies, The Flexi Group has an asset-light approach to its real estate ventures, partnering with landlords on joint ventures instead of taking on large and unwieldy rental agreements. Their landlord partners in Asia include Chinachem Group in Hong Kong, Petronas in Malaysia, Central Group in Thailand, Ortigas in the Philippines, and Hirsch and Faigen in Australia – with more to come in the next few months.

A photo of Common Ground, a coworking space in APAC.

“We work with some of the leading landlords in the region who see flexible workspaces as a natural evolution of their business,” added Edwards. “They work with us to help engage the tenants in their buildings, offering them access to best-in-class events, flexible work solutions, and bookable meeting and event spaces. Asset owners can also unlock revenue potential as our partners see increased returns of up to 30% vs a traditional lease structure.”

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Along with their landlord partners, The Flexi Group will continue to expand their three unique brands The Hive, Common Ground, and The Cluster across the region with multiple new locations set to open in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Singapore over the next 12 months.

“Our multi-brand for a multi-demographic approach is unique in the region,” said Edwards. “This strategy gives us the opportunity to partner with landlords across a variety of asset classes across Asia and Australia. With our multiple brands targeting a different market segment across a variety of industries, we will see exponential growth and are forecasting to grow by up to 100 locations in the next three years.”

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