Found8 — All you need to know about the latest merger in the coworking world
Collision 8 and Found. were two homegrown brands that have each made a name for themselves for their focus on community and innovation. As of February 11, 2019, these two established coworking space operators have become one — a landmark merger known as Found8.
Both parties have been in talks since September of 2018, where they began to see how the brands have clear synergies with one another. Collectively, the Found8 merger brings together a whopping USD$20 million worth of funding. With more funds at their disposal, Found8 aims to expand to other markets, beginning with Kuala Lumpur in July this year.
“Our hope is to continue from KL into other parts of the region as well, start building up this innovation ecosystem, the network that we already have, into the rest of the region. So that’s in the pipeline and we’ll be launching more spaces next year and the years to come,” said Michelle Yong, the co-CEO of Found8.
Yong is the co-founder of the pre-merger Collision 8, which launched its first location at the High Street Centre in 2016. The brand’s mission was to foster learning, innovation, and collaborative opportunities among its members, creating a space where ideas could “collide.”
Meanwhile, Grace Sai is the founder of what was previously known as Found. Found. similarly prioritised its members’ growth through community initiatives and tailored innovation solutions. One such solution was an innovation fund started to support early-stage startups.
As the co-CEOs of Found8, Yong will focus on spearheading the brand’s regional expansion and growth, while Sai plans to work more closely on the corporate innovation side. While the two original brands were primarily known for a membership profile of startups, Found8 also aims to provide solutions for family businesses and corporate clients.
Combined, Found8 currently has 5 locations in Singapore. Three were previously under the Found. brand, including locations on Prinsep Street, Cuppage Road, and the newly-opened flagship space on Amoy Street. The two spaces operated by Collision 8 are located on High Street and Anson Road. Altogether, there are now over 1000 members part of Found8’s combined network, including notable startups like Antler, General Assembly, Miles Life — and of course, GorillaSpace!
Beyond expanding their reach, Found8 plans to invest in improvements to their existing portfolio of spaces. “We have plans to improve Prinsep and Cuppage, while we launch Amoy and Anson, and also High Street Centre,” said Sai.
Of course, the advantage of this merger is not limited to the operators. Members of either one of the original brands now have access to a wider range of spaces, networks, and resources. For example, Found.’s partnership with Google for Startups has carried over to Found8, enabling even more opportunities for mentorship and innovation.
“Our philosophy has always been that collaboration is better than competition. As we regionalise, Found8 is set to create meaningful innovation ecosystems everywhere we go. We are creating a new benchmark for the future of co-working in Asia,” Sai explains.
In our blog, we previously discussed how consolidation is an emerging trend in the world of coworking. Check out our previous article on Capitaland’s joint venture with The Work Project and acquisition of Collective Works. With so many coworking spaces coming up in the market offering similar benefits, it comes as no surprise that operators would consider joining hands to leverage their combined resources.