HK startup Booqed raises US$1.68 mln in seed funding

October 17, 2019 12:44
Booqed's David Wong (L) is seen with Charles Ng, a co-founder of the firm in this file picture. The Hong Kong startup, which aims to link workers with temporary office spaces and event venues, has completed a seed funding round. Photo: Booqed

Hong Kong-based startup Booqed, which operates an online platform for booking short-term rentals of business workspaces, has raised US$1.68 million in seed funding despite the ongoing political and social unrest in the city.

The seed funding round drew the participation of commercial real-estate management firm Colliers International, US seed accelerator Techstars, and Lazard Korea.

Co-founded by David Wong, Charles Ng and Ken Huang in 2016, Booqed runs a digital platform that enables tenants and landlords to find or monetize short-term, unused business spaces.

The mobile-focused on-demand marketplace for boutique workspaces boasts more than 35 corporate clients and 1,600 listings in Asian cities, including Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore.

The firm will use its seed round on product roll-outs, marketing, and hiring.

Designed to be a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace for short-term workspaces, Booqed allows companies and landlords to list their offices, co-working spaces, restaurants, music studios and even yoga studios.

The "airbnb for workplaces" caters to firms and landlords which want to rent out underused space in existing commercial properties, for purposes such as hosting events or to serve as temporary co-workspaces.

Its business clients include companies involved in sectors such as tech, insurance and retail, and coming from various regions seeking temporary working spaces in Hong Kong.

Businesses welcome a chance to earn by renting out under-utilized space to others, instead of letting the spaces sit empty, Booqed’s co-founder and CEO David Wong told the Hong Kong Economic Journal in an interview earlier.

On Booqed’s platform, rental bookings can be for as short as an hour, or as long as several months.

“The way people are working is changing with the rise of the new economy, so our service needs to be flexible,” said Wong.

“Other than linking our clients with suitable spots, we also have to specifically match their additional needs. That’s how we build our brand and retain our clients.”