JustCo to expand to Japan with $101m investment from Daito Trust

Home-grown co-working operator JustCo's outlet in Marina Square. PHOTO: JUSTCO

SINGAPORE - Home-grown co-working space provider JustCo has secured a US$50 million (S$68.3 million) investment from Japanese construction and real estate firm Daito Trust Construction Co. Daito Trust will also invest up to 2.65 billion yen (S$33.1 million) to form a joint venture (JV) with JustCo that will build and operate flexible workspaces in Japan.

The strategic partnership signals JustCo's foray into Japan, bringing the total number of markets it operates in to eight. The JV will be 49 per cent owned by JustCo and 51 per cent owned by Daito Trust.

Singapore-based JustCo and Daito Trust, which is listed on both the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Nagoya Stock Exchange, plan to open seven to nine centres in Tokyo between 2020 and 2021.

JustCo said Japan, as the second-largest economy in Asia by gross domestic product, is an important market for a large number of JustCo's members. Demand for flexible workspace in key Japanese cities such as Tokyo is fast-growing.

The Singapore-based group currently operates co-working spaces in Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Daito Trust is aiming to build a comprehensive leasing and lifestyle business. It currently offers a range of services including consulting sales of rental housing, design and construction, tenant recruitment and building management.

Katsuma Kobayashi, president and representative director (CEO) of Daito Trust, said: "The flexible workspace business is one of the key elements in our comprehensive leasing business, and we believe the collaboration with JustCo marks a significant step forward."

Since the US$177 million joint investment in JustCo from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and real estate firm Frasers Property in May 2018, JustCo has expanded its network from 14 co-working centres in two cities, to close to 40 centres across eight cities today. The group said it has positive cash flow from its mature centres.

Kong Wan Sing, founder and CEO of JustCo, said: "Our strong corporate governance and financial prudence will continue to serve as the backbone of our business as we expand our network. JustCo aims to cement its position as the leader in Asia-Pacific, and has set a new target to operate more than 3 million square feet of co-working spaces by 2021."

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