FLEXIBLE working space provider KMC Solutions said it has recently secured an investment from ASEAN Industrial Growth Fund (AIGF) which will help fuel its expansion activities in the Philippines.
“The fund of AIGF is $180 million and they have to invest in businesses in Southeast Asia and we have a portion of it… and this is the first investment that they have in the Philippines,” Amanda Rufino Carpo, co-founder and legal counsel of KMC, told BusinessWorld in an interview after the company’s event held in Makati City on April 10.
AIGF is a private equity firm based in Singapore and focuses on investments in the ASEAN region. It mainly targets established companies that are looking for ways in order to generate returns by working closely with the management, and assist them in reaching for potential locally and internationally.
“We’re actually quite lucky because KMC Solutions is a profitable company so we’ve been able to use our profits for expansion and then with the added funds of AIGF we’re planning to expand up to 2020, so this year plus 2020,” she said.
KMC Solutions currently has 57,151 square meters (sq.m.) of flexible working space or 36 office floors, which cater to over 13,000 members. By the end of 2019, it aims to have an additional 20,185 sq.m. of space to bring its total footprint to 77,236 sq.m.
“We’re planning to grow 50% from our current… That’s big growth, but it’s not something that we’re not just used to because we’ve been trying to catch up with the demand,” Ms. Carpo said. “What we’re trying to do now is catch up with demand and also expand outside the CBDs.”
This year, KMC Solutions is opening co-working and office spaces in Clark, Pampanga (2,400 sq.m.); Ortigas, Pasig City (1,535 sq.m.); Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (10,150 sq.m.); Pasay City (to be announced); Cebu City, Cebu (4,900 sq.m.); and Iloilo City, Iloilo (1,200 sq.m.).
“They are able to provide full speed of services that can anchor companies who want to do plug-and-play environment for work, and this is what the company is very strong in where we identified what other things that our potential clients would like to have,” said Daniel Yong, managing partner and investment committee member of AIGF.
Ms. Carpo said the funds may also be used to improve the company’s technology and opens a possibility to be able to expand outside of the country.
“There’s not just expansion we’re looking at within the country. Now we have some breathing room and fuel and look outside the Philippines and then we can improve our technology… to improve the community experience that we have,” she noted during the interview.
Ms. Carpo said that the flexible working space industry still has so much room for growth most especially now that many foreign companies are expanding in the country. She said the flexible working space also allows for foreign investments to enter the country.
“I think there is still a lot of space for growth in the Philippines because… a lot of investors are looking at the Philippines still again as I said, not just labor pool… they are also looking at us as a market. We’re 10 million and that’s huge and the average age of Filipino is 24.3 years old and that means that you have a young and growing purchasing power for the middle class,” she said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang