Author: yiyun

CO3, Probably South East Asia’s Coolest Office Launched in Malaysia

Malaysia based co-working space startup CO3 Social Office officially launched their first office location in Puchong, Malaysia today. The opening of the Puchong office marks the completion of the first out of five offices the company had planned.

Early this year, the startup revealed their ideology in Connexion at Nexus, Bangsar South. During the 1,500 people event, the team from CO3 presented their plan to deliver the “coolest office in Malaysia” by June 2017. In the same event, they had also announced the plan to open 5 offices in 12 months.

“We have said it, now we have done it”, said Yong Chen Hui, Founder & CEO of CO3 Social Office. “The journey wasn’t easy but our aspiration took us here.”

"We have said it, now we have done it". said Yong, CEO of CO3
“We have said it, now we have done it”, said Yong, CEO of CO3

In celebration of the first workspace opening, the team organised a weeklong celebration including two housewarmings, a grand opening ceremony, and an exclusive social gathering with Bruneian artist Goh Kiat Chun or better known as Wu Chun. Now a full-time entrepreneur, the ex-singer Wu Chun is the non-executive director of the newly launched co-working space. As part of the weeklong celebration, the 44-year-old entrepreneur shared his rich experiences in entrepreneurship with a group of young influencers.

Wu Zun, one of CO3 co-founders having a sharing session with Malaysian's top social media influencers.
Wu Zun, one of CO3 co-founders having a sharing session with Malaysia's top social media influencers

When asked about the differentiating factors that set CO3 apart from the existing co-working offices in the region, Yong brought up an interesting point. The “heartware” he said. He explained that besides the hardware (the facilities) and the software (the mentor supports and business networks) which almost every co-working office provides, CO3 social office is promoting an intangible spirit called the “heartware”.

It’s made up of 3 key elements namely freedom, dignity, and trust. “We allow ideas to travel freely within this space, we promote the concept of same rank where everyone has their own space, and we want to build trust within the members,” he added.

The spirit of CO3 is to allow free travel of ideas between the members.
The spirit of CO3 is to allow free travel of ideas between the members

Further embodying the spirit of “heartware”, this co-working space allows flexible leasing for as short as a month and an adopted honor system for the food and beverages in the workspace. Additionally, all the net proceeds from the honor system will be donated to charitable causes.

Built upon CO3 honor system, members pay for their food and beverages without any supervision.
Built upon CO3’s honor system, members pay for their food and beverages without any supervision.

With millennials slowly taking over the workforce, talent attraction and retention is more challenging than ever. Hence the company is confident that augmenting the importance of human-centric “heartware” will be an alternative solution to talent retention.

Yong, CEO of CO3 giving a speech on the importance of "Heartware"
Yong giving a speech on the importance of "Heartware".

CO3 Social Office also positioned itself as a unique concept that can be implemented in existing corporate environments and real-estate locations, improving their appeal to the new generation of white collar professionals, on top of optimising the utilisation of their existing assets.

Jeff Ong, Executive Director of CO3 explained that many offices have unutilised real estates like meeting rooms or under-utilised real estates like manager rooms. Co-working space helps companies to turn these real estate cost into revenue.

CO3 maximizes the value of real estates by having shared meeting rooms, brainstorm area, and other facilities among the members.
CO3 maximizes the value of real estates by having shared meeting rooms, brainstorm area, and other facilities among the members.

On the day of the launch, Yong also revealed that the 22,000 sq feet working space has achieved more than 80% occupancy, with 200 members from various professions including the legal, corporate secretary, production house, event, media, and tech startup industries. CO3 Social Office is not just the coolest office in Malaysia, but it’s also the largest of its kind in the region. Believing in the concept of constant growth, the team had planned to outdo their current accomplishment. Yong stated that this first office is built to prove the concept of co-working area in Malaysia. Ready to achieve their next goal, they are eyeing their second location which will take up 80,000 sq feet in a 5 storey building. The location is 4 times larger than its predecessor and is said to be along Jalan Semangat. When asked about the remaining 3 locations, Yong explained that scouting process is ongoing. Though the exact locations are not finalised, the team is looking to complete these locations by Q2 2018.

More shots of CO3 Social Office:

A bright red plane in the middle of the office to usher the members TO FLY
A bright red plane in the middle of the office to usher the members TO FLY.

CO3 slide

CO3 game zone

CO3 bean bag area
CO3 comes with an assortment of entertainment & relaxation facilites.

CO3 Cafe

CO3 coffee area
No short of good foods & beverages in the premise.

For more information, please visit http://co3.co

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A special report by PRWIRE Asia.

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Havson Group Puts VR On The SEA Map With Funding From 500 Startups

VR entertainment technology startup Havson Group has closed funding from Silicon Valley-based venture capital seed fund and accelerator, 500 Startups. Producing unique VR content and using advanced VR technology that solves problems of motion sickness and latency, Havson Group has recognised the booming virtual reality industry in Southeast Asia and generated early interest from global players.

Pioneering the introduction of VR in the region, Havson Group recently launched EXA Outpost, a first of its kind hyper-reality development studio based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where players leave reality behind and immerse themselves in a first-person experience that puts players in the middle of a dimension exploration.

EXA Outpost 1 located at SetiaWalk Puchong
EXA Outpost 1 located at SetiaWalk Puchong

EXA Outpost: Mission Room
EXA Outpost: Mission Room

EXA Outpost: Angkas Zone
EXA Outpost: Angkas Zone

Backed by a team that has deep-seated knowledge of the industry, Havson Group has been no stranger to the world of gaming. Starting off as Mediasoft, the team has developed some of the top mobile games in the world including the badminton game Jump Smash and the world’s first sepak takraw game Roll Spike that saw more than 10 million downloads.

The founders of Havson Group of companies (Left) Rayson Wong; (Right) Havene Liew
The founders of Havson Group of companies (Left) Rayson Wong; (Right) Havene Liew

Cementing its track record to date, Havson Group participated and subsequently won the Alibaba CACSC competition held in Singapore in August 2016 emerging as a Champion against 12 other startups from the region. And becomes Merit winner of global final in Hangzhou, China. Havson Group’s unique advantage comes from its VR solution enabling players to move freely in a large space without motion sickness.

Havson Group - Champion of Singapore Division, CACSC 2016
Havson Group – Champion of Singapore Division, CACSC 2016

“Through the Alibaba CACSC competition, we managed to prove to the world that we are an emerging global tech company solving real gaming problems.” said Kee Saik Meng, Founding Partner of Havson Group.

Havson Group - Merit Winner of Global Final, CACSC 2016
Havson Group – Merit Winner of Global Final, CACSC 2016

Havson Group was also the first Malaysian startup showcasing their VR content at the Silicon Valley VR Expo in San Jose.

Even though well known on the international gaming scene, the problems Havson Group sought to address with their tech solutions were more regional. Bringing the VR industry to Southeast Asia, Havson Group saw its many advantages for the market including drawing traffic to dying malls.

“Our VR Parks provides a solution for mall operators wanting to attract footfall, especially from millennials, and provides a gaming experience unlike any other VR multiplayer has done.” said Havene Liew, Founder of Havson Group.

A burning passion for improving and growing the Malaysian games industry drove former film director and game design lecturer Havene to initially kickstart Mediasoft Entertainment in 2012 together with another founder Rayson Wong. During his time as a lecturer, Havene saw numerous young talented individuals leaving the country to seek opportunities overseas or quit the gaming industry altogether due to a lack of opportunities.

Taking matters into their own hands, Havene and Rayson wanted to create those very opportunities, develop those talents and contribute back to the local gaming ecosystem. This passion for talent development saw Mediasoft winning the best employer award in 2015 awarded by KWSP Malaysia.

Mediasoft Entertainment

No stranger to virtual worlds, Kee who has extensive experience in film and games, elaborates on Havson’s insights, “We see this market growing very rapidly in the next few quarters. Besides the growing consumer demand for richer VR experience via malls, we see Hollywood studios and big game companies with IPs entering this space, and, naturally, they are looking for strategic partners to work with.”

This market demand sees Havson Group joining other major competitive players around the world in capturing the global market share. These competitors include The Void, a Hyper-Reality experience gaming centre based in Utah, New York and Dubai. Zero Latency is another immersive VR studio based in Melbourne, Australia which received a total of USD9.5M to date in seed and venture funding from Carthona Capital.

Other players include Dreamscape Immersive which plans to open a VR Multiplex in Los Angeles later this year. Dreamscape has raised USD11M in funding in a round led by Bold Capital. Imax too, has said it plans to open six VR centers in partnership with AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment, and additional centers planned for Britain and China as well as projects in Japan, the Middle East and Western Europe.

With competition mounting globally in the US, Australia and other parts of Asia, Havson Group’s years of gaming experience and understanding of the Southeast Asian and other regional markets is what they see as their first movers competitive edge.

Others have seen it too with demands for partnerships increasing. Havson Group has already signed partnerships in Pakistan and ShenZhen, China and are currently in discussion with numerous major theme parks and resorts across the region. With interest in VR mounting, Havson Group plans to cement its hold within the region, ahead of the competition.

Managing Partner of 500 Startups, Khailee Ng said that investing in Havson Group was not only in line with their goal to recognize promising startups in Southeast Asia and assist them in growing on a global level, Khailee injects that Havson Group is one of the corporations that has the potential of fast pace growth with the help of technology.

“Having invested in 1,700 Startups in over 60 countries, we’ve built an international platform for startups like Havson to rapidly enter multiple markets at speed. Their business model involves malls paying upfront for rollouts, and generates ongoing profit share. It’s a very capital efficient way to build a global business. Just the kind of business we like!” said Khailee.

With future plans involving Southeast Asia, China and the US, Havson Group of companies is strongly focused on the booming VR market.

“We have the right talented individuals who are brave for new challenges, we can have the right technology along with the skilled software to create a product on par, we have the resources that can push us far, it is undeniable that Havson has the track record that can create another new height,” added Rayson Wong, Founding Partner of Havson Group.

Havson Group Team

About Havson Group: Havson Group builds VR contents and provides VR tech solutions to FEC, theme parks and shopping malls.



EXA Global Unlocks New Hyper-Reality Experience in Malaysia at SetiaWalk Outpost

EXA Global, under the umbrella of digital entertainment and technology company Havson Group is unveiling Malaysia’s first ever Hyper Reality Experience at Setiawalk EXA Outpost.

Referred by EXA Global as South-East Asia’s first ever Hyper-Reality Family Entertainment Center, players will be able to experience a fully immersive, wireless, free-roaming gaming experience at EXA Outpost. This is made possible thanks to the combination of highly advanced virtual reality technologies like untethered backpack setup and multi-user motion capture system employed by EXA Global.

Richard Lee, the CEO of EXA Global explained that engagement is core to the project designed by the team. The focus is to get players involved in the technology to become part of the story.

“Getting the right module, enhancing the formula, experience and content are key components when creating and building an immersive advanced technology to have people sharing their hyper-reality experience with others,” said Lee.

Richard Lee, the CEO of EXA Global

Richard Lee, the CEO of EXA Global

Upon its launching, EXA Outpost will be featuring an exclusive VR multiplayer sci-fi shooter and space exploration mission, named EXA Dimension 12. Imagine role-playing Starship Troopers or Mass Effect in a fully immersive space dimension, that’s what the EXA Dimension 12 is all about. In the mission, players known as Troopers will first be transported to the Ingress room, where they will receive their EXA gears (guns, backpacks, and other wearables) for the upcoming exploration. Once geared up, players will then be dispatched and transported to the Dimension 12, it is here that the players will ride along a thrilling storyline, receive instructions to investigate unexplored regions, and fight off vicious extra-dimensional monsters with a diversified profile of advanced weaponries.

“Being that part of the story for our players is important to us, as we know experience is something valuable we at EXA Global can offer,” said Lee.

EXA Dimension 12, being fully developed in-house by EXA Global, is a respectable feat demonstrated by the talents of the team. For EXA Global, being able to develop content in-house also means they are not reliant on 3rd party developers for their future VR content. This opens a door to a promising future for EXA Global as they are free to develop any content that falls inline with their business strategy. In fact, this advantageous edge can already be observed as EXA Global has already started working on additional VR contents that revolve around horror and kids-friendly themes to expand their content portfolio.

EXA Outpost houses spacious room to allow a free roaming VR experience.

Moving forward, the company notes that it is planning to open future locations around the world, targeting North America, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Australia, and the neighboring countries surrounding Malaysia. Bigger flagship centers ranging from 10,000 square feet to football size venue will also be opened in future to house a bigger crowd, according to Lee.

Other than looking for rapid market expansion, the company is also looking to upgrade its VR hardware to further improve its hyper-reality experience. In the upcoming future, EXA Global will be developing a full body suit with haptic feedback that is mapped according to traditional Chinese acupuncture points to improve the surrealism of the game. Other wearables like VR gloves and augmented reality (AR) wristband will also be developed alongside the full body suit.

EXA gears in action.

Another noteworthy future expansion for EXA Global is the development of VR eSport. With the rise of eSport in recent years, it is also part of EXA Global’s strategy to tap into this trend and pioneer the VR eSport scene. To achieve this, offering player-vs-player (PvP) experience at its VR centers will be one of the upcoming focuses for EXA Global. Seeing the success of eSports giants like Dota 2 (offering a prize pool of whopping $20,770,460 USD for its tournament) and League of Legend (having an active monthly user base of 100 millions players), the potential of VR as the future mainstream eSport is definitely a huge one.

“As part of the creative and innovative pioneer in digital entertainment and technology Havson Group, between ourselves we aim to create the ultimate immersive Hyper-Reality Studio experience within this region,” said Lee.

Located at SetiaWalk, Puchong, EXA Outpost consists of two rooms whereby one is dedicated to the games while the other is a Hyper Reality Arcade Entertainment Center where players can play VR arcade games. Open for public starting from 3rd of June, for those who wants to take a deep dive into the hyper-reality experience, players can now book for a pair of ticket at a promotional pricing of RM65 on their official website: https://www.exa-global.com/booking.php

Suit Up, Experience The Game Changer Of Hyper-Reality Entertainment – EXA Global

Gear up, ladies and gentlemen! EXA GLOBAL – under the umbrella of digital entertainment and technology company Havson Group – is urgently recruiting soldiers for an immediate search and rescue mission of their fellow comrades missing in action while on an exploration to a foreign dimension, and they were hailing all new recruits to gather at the latest hyper-reality Family Entertainment Center (FEC) at SetiaWalk’s EXA Outpost, to be “transported” and save their comrades from danger at their recent launch.

The latest disruptive FEC to invade the gaming scene in Malaysia, EXA Outpost at SetiaWalk is a first-person, hyper-reality immersive experience that puts players right smack dab in the middle of a dimension exploration. EXA Outpost brags the rights to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, being a quality full-service Hyper-Reality–FECs (Family Entertainment Centers) that will command the approval of the predominantly Malaysian community which it serve.

Mr. Richard Lee, CEO of EXA Global said that engagement is the core to every project being designed by the team – to get their players involved in the technology, to be a part of the story, and experience the game together as a team.

Mr. Richard Lee, CEO of EXA Global

“EXA Outpost is a project of exploration; we invite friends and family to explore, to engage, to defend and return home with an experience where they can share with one another. The moment they book their tickets, we want them to experience the story together as a team,” said Mr. Lee during the launch of EXA Outpost recently.

“Getting the right module, enhancing the formula, experience and content are key components when creating and building an immersive advanced technology to have people sharing their hyper-reality experience with others. Being that part of the story for our players is important to us, as we know experience is something very valuable we at EXA Global can offer.”

A mixture of both physical and hyper-reality attractions that holds a fully immersive, wireless free roaming concept, the gaming content of EXA Outpost are created and developed solely by EXA Global themselves. A Sci-fi shooting game involving multi-players of four in a closed room, troopers will firstly be placed in EXA Outpost’s Ingress room for a briefing on their mission and safety conditions, where they will be suited up with the EXA Gear – player-wearable technology consisting of backpacks, guns, headset, batteries and charging system.

Players will then experience the real highlight of the dimension exploration along with the outer space atmosphere through their ANGKAS system, providing troopers with a more surreal and breathtaking experience. Players will immerse themselves in a surreal movie-like graphic story of being trained as new recruits equivalent to Starship Troopers in a graphically-enhanced Mission Room, receiving orders from a certain Commander Rick and dispatched to explore a foreign dimensional space that will leave players in awe and admire the ‘reality’ of an unexplored realm. Players are instructed to navigate the deep caves of the dimension and investigate the area, encouraging them to explore, engage and experience the whole story and the surreal atmosphere they are transported into, and work together as a team to conquer their mission when encountering large and vicious alien-like monsters.

Dimension 12 Hyper Reality Experience

Mr. Lee emphasized that its innovative facilities will have a positive impact within the Family Entertainment Centers both in Malaysia and on a global scale – having fully analysed and researched the market to effusively enhance the augmented reality solution for both gamers and non-gamers. He went on to add that there are more enhancements and developments to be made to allow their players visiting EXA Outpost have the full immersive experience in letting them feel what EXA Global wants them to feel.

“As part of the creative and innovative pioneer in digital entertainment and technology Havson Group, between ourselves we created the ultimate immersive Hyper-Reality Studio experience within this region.
“With great minds combined, we successfully developed a unique and distinctive system of high quality Hyper-Reality Entertainment Centers and create an exceptional yet incredible experience bringing hyper-reality to a new height,” said Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee added that Team Building and Communication have always been the pillars embedded in EXA Global’s hyper-reality projects, as they truly believe that hyper-reality can bring people together and providing them that opportunity to let themselves go and immerse in communication to achieve a goal together.

“At EXA Outpost, the “wow” factor is something we want to evoke in people, as the stories we tell and the experience we give, is what each and every person will be bringing home and return for more, as such experience is always crucial in every project we do,” said Mr. Lee.

EXA Outpost also consists of two rooms: dedicated to the games and a Hyper-Reality Arcade Entertainment Centre where patrons can play VR arcade games.

For more information on how to book a session with EXA Outpost at SetiaWalk or the mission of Dimension 12, please visit www.exa-global.com, or follow us on www.facebook.com/EXAGlobal/.

Official Partners:
Exa Global's Partners

For further information kindly contact:

Eunice Wong, Senior Brand Manager
Mobile: +6012 2877 368 / 03 7865 7932
Email: eunice@slpr.com.my

Wantha Anatasya, Brand Executive
Mobile:  +6018 2968 119 / 03 7865 7932
Email: wantha@slpr.com.my

Singapore-based Startup, Refash Raises US$ 294K In Seed Funding Round

A startup enterprise based in Singapore, Refash has recently announced that it has raised S$400,000 (approximately US$294K) worth of fundings for its starting seed round. The funding round was led by Singapore’s Tri5 Ventures and Malaysia’s Tinkbig Ventures.

For those uninitiated, Refash was named after the concept of “refashioning” which means the reinvention of a new type of fashion trend where people can still spot a different outfit daily without burning a hole in their wallet.

The idea was also borne out of the alarming environmental consequences of trending fashion where 41.5 million kilogram of clothings were being disposed by Singaporeans annually.

Hence, Refash hopes to hone and grow the acceptance of Singaporeans in the practice of buying and using second-hand clothings by mediating the process and provide a solution to resell clothing surplus efficiently, easily and quickly.

In other words, Refash aims to help women clear their wardrobe through providing a retail platform for women to buy and sell their clothing items efficiently. The startup also look forward to refashion the concept of “buying” for shoppers, enforcing the idea that they do not have to hold on to the clothes forever.

“The disposing of so much clothing is a real waste, literally. Rather than just throwing away, I believe in the immense potential in the problems we are solving – bursting closets, clothes wastage and rising landfills to dispose these clothes”, said Refash CEO and Founder, Aloysius Sng in e27.

Hence, by creating a system which facilitates fashion resell, users who wish to clean out their closets just have to pack their unwanted items and the rest is handled by the Refash team where the team will then sell the items on their platform and outlets.

“People who want to clear their closets of unwanted clothes just need to pack and have them picked up by Refash. We will do the rest,” Aloysius Sng adds.

Since its launch in January 2016, the idea has been proven profitable as the six-months old enterprise has already earned a revenue of S$250,000. Selling more than half of the 40,000 “looking-brand new” clothing items which it has processed. Additionally, the startup has also successfully cashed out at least S$150,000 to its sellers.

Reportedly on e27, Refash plans to use the fundings on enhancing its technology, both on the front-end platform as well as their back-end inventory system. It also plans to build on its business networking group of resellers to facilitate quicker movement of the items.

Besides that, Refash with Tinkbig Venture on board. also has the ambition to expand its market to Malaysia by the end of the year.

About Refash:
Refash is a Singaporean-based fashion portal that sells second-hand fashion, helping women get rid of clothes they no longer want to keep. Refash collects clothes from sellers and processes them which includes taking snapshots of the item before listing them on the website for sale.

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