Despite the local co-working space ecosystem filling up with more players, there appears to be no slowdown of newcomers to the scene, or more branches from more established players.
One more new entrant to the community in the Klang Valley is SpewCo—a space in Kota Damansara catering to digital nomads, small startups, students, and freelancers alike.
Officially opened in September 2018, SpewCo was founded by Kingsley Lew, Jet Ng, and Eason, three individuals with roots in business and marketing—20-year-old Kingsley co-founded a rewards platform called MyBirthday that runs as a subsidiary under Mulah Rewards, Jet has experience in marketing consultancy, while Eason runs an e-commerce business of his own.
For 20-year-old Kingsley who is still completing a university degree, the inspiration to open a co-working space came during his two years working with Mulah Rewards.
“In those two years, I realised that the main struggle faced by startups was always financial-related—they try their best to achieve extraordinary things at the lowest cost,” he said. “So I wanted to create a workplace that was affordable for everyone that could also provide the necessary facilities.”
Jet explained that the idea to open a space together came unexpectedly.
“The whole idea was really random, honestly,” he noted. “The three of us were sat down at a board games café for hours and had the sudden thought of how nice it would be to have a working space where we could relax and have fun while pursuing our dreams.”
Entirely self-funded, SpewCo was conceptualised then put together in just a few months.
A Balance That Just Works
For those curious about their name, SpewCo is meant as an acronym for “Social, Play, Entertainment, Work, and Co-Working”, the four tenets its three co-founders want the space to revolve around.
“It’s things that resonate with our brand,” Kingsley explained. “In our space, we try to instil a sense that work and life can actually be balanced, and what we want to provide is a space for individuals to work in and also spend time with their friends.”
To prove a point, SpewCo transforms into a sort of social hangout zone when 6PM hits every weekday. During this after-hours period, the place transforms into a space for socialising, playing board games, and chilling over lights snacks and refreshments, and where patrons can bring over friends and acquaintances to network and mingle.
“At other co-working spaces, it’s either too corporate or tenants are constrained from bringing guests to the workplace,” Kingsley continued.
“We feel that with this element in our culture, it’ll not only help us differentiate ourselves from the competition, but also help us turn our space into a community where individuals can get support from each other.”
And having just run SpewCo for just a few weeks, Kingsley has learned that despite there already being so many co-working spaces in the scene, there still remains a relatively nascent quality to the local co-working culture as opposed to other more mature countries.
“We realised the industry is still very new to some people, with many not knowing what the business model is all about,” Kingsley said.
“The concept of co-working is more popular in western countries and therefore may still be fairly new to many Malaysians—especially those from older generations.”
The Way Up
Similarly, the immediate challenge faced by the SpewCo team is trying to get others to know about their space. And according to Kingsley, the best way to navigate such a challenge is to keep putting themselves out there, be it through marketing, word of mouth, or gatherings.
“Our main mission now is to educate as many people as possible about the concept of our business and make them aware that they can actually opt for offices like this to cut down their overhead costs.”
“We’ll be hosting as many events as we can—probably once a week—to generate more traffic to our space, and allow people to personally experience our space and facilities for themselves,” he said.
“Besides that, we’re also doing a lot of digital marketing to boost our awareness online, such as working with publications to communicate to a wider audience our vision and mission.”
As for the immediate future, the objective is for SpewCo to hit an occupancy rate of 80% by the end of 2018 and continue improving their existing facilities to better serve their clientele. And eventually, Kingsley hopes that they’ll grow big enough to expand elsewhere.
“Once we have enough funds, we plan to expand our workspace to different areas throughout Kuala Lumpur, and eventually other parts of Malaysia, too,” he said.
“With this in mind, we want to be able to offer our co-workers the option and flexibility to work in any of our outlets and provide them the opportunity to work on the go.”
For those curious about SpewCo’s rates, co-working begins at RM399 per month for hot-desking, RM499 for a dedicated desk, and goes up to RM599 a month for a private office, with all these rates currently slashed by RM100 for their early bird promo.
There are also rates for those looking for a day-pass option, with RM25 the going rate for regular workers and RM15 for students.
Available amenities and features include meeting rooms, 24/7 access, and a relaxation space in addition to the aforementioned daily after-hours fun sessions.
SpewCo, Kota Damansara
RM25 for professionals
RM15 for students
RM399 per month / person
(RM299 for early birds)
RM 499 per month / person
(RM399 for early birds)
RM599 per month / person
(RM499 for early birds)
Feature Image Credit: SpewCo