Facebook yesterday celebrated its move to a new expanded office space at Marina One.
According to a media release, the new office space, occupies approximately 260,000 sq ft across a total of four floors (L26 to L30) and will house Facebook’s Singapore and regional teams.
The new space is also home to Facebook’s first partner center in Asia Pacific, where partners will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Facebook’s company mission, vision and culture, and explore new growth opportunities for their business.
Fact check! The L29 (Facebook office) floor plate at Marina One is Asia’s largest Prime Grade A office floor plate at 100,000 square feet and 200 metres from end-to-end. It is six-times the size of a single floor at the previous South Beach Tower office – equivalent to the length of four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The opening was graced by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing; managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Chng Kai Fong; chief executive of the IMDA, Tan Kiat How; and Mayor of Central Singapore CDC, Denise Phua. Close to 100 of Facebook’s government, business, and community partners were also in attendance.
Dan Neary, vice president of Asia Pacific, Facebook, said: “Asia Pacific is incredibly important to Facebook. Out of the 2.2 billion people who are on our platform monthly, 894 million are here in Asia Pacific. Economies are in the midst of a digital transformation, and there is a tremendous push for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. We are excited to be part of this journey – working with partners across the region to invest in programs, opportunities and people that create a positive impact in their communities.”
Fact check! There are “wayfinders” positioned around the Marina One office that act as digital office compasses, and allows any person to search and locate meeting rooms, people’s desks, as well as office amenities such as the copy / mail room, micro and nano kitchens, even the restrooms.
Neary added: “Facebook set up shop here in Singapore about 10 years ago. Today, we have over 1,000 employees in Singapore. Singapore is key to our continued growth in the region, and we are honored to work with and support some incredible partners in the public and private sector to drive Singapore’s economic, innovation, and community goals.”
At the office opening, Facebook also announced the launch of Startup Station Singapore. In collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Startup Station Singapore is a six-month program to support innovative data-driven startups that are developing the next generation of business solutions today. This marks Facebook’s first data innovation startup program in Asia, and second worldwide – after Startup Garage Paris.
Fact check! The Facebook Marina One office space’s meeting rooms are all based on employee suggestions, using Facebook polls – much like all of the Facebook offices around the world.
Some interesting themes and names for meeting rooms in the Marina One office are:
– Stranger Things – “Eggo”, “Eleven”, “The Upside Down”, and “Demogorgon”.
– Singlish – “Don’t say Bo Jio!”, “So how?”, “Win already lor”.
– Food – “Ang Ku Kueh”, “Go hawker centre better!”, “Ondeh Ondeh”, “Ta Pau”.
– Meeting rooms – “Oh, can’t find a room”, “Not that room”, “Which room?”, “That room”.
Set to kick off in February 2019, the program aims to help establish a model of data innovation for Asia and the rest of the world. It looks to empower startups to accelerate their businesses in new and cutting-edge ways, while continuing to keep peoples’ trust, transparency and control over their data at the core. The first cohort will consist of startups from Singapore and around the region.
Alvin Tan, head of public policy ASEAN, Facebook, said: “Southeast Asia is home to some of the most exciting startups in the world. We’re thrilled to support a new generation of regional startups who have the potential to create jobs and grow the economy. Through our partnership with IMDA for Startup Station Singapore, we will be able to give startups the infrastructure and access they need to refine and scale their business models.”
Fact check! There are seven Facebook partner centres at Facebook offices all over the world, where partners have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Facebook’s company mission, vision and culture, and explore new growth opportunities for their business.
The program will offer to startups the following:
- Mentorship: Access to industry leaders, Facebook experts and mentors with expertise in artificial intelligence, product innovation, growth, and data protection from the world over.
- Connections: Opportunity to network with regional venture capitals and investors via demo day at the end of the program. The startups that graduate from the program will be invited to join Facebook’s startup alumni program that will connect them to a global network of startups.
- Training: Powered by Rainmaking, a global cooperative of entrepreneurs, Facebook will provide training modules in short, intense sprints to help startups advance and mature their businesses.
- Facebook Programs & Resources: Startups will be given the opportunity to be part of FbStart, a Facebook global program designed to help startups build and grow with access to free tools and services.
- Regulatory Sandbox: Facilitated by IMDA, startups will have the chance to develop new approaches and innovative ideas through the use of data in a live environment.
- Co-working Space: A physical office space in Singapore for participating start-ups, that connects the innovation community to collaborate, build and access key markets. The space is well equipped with prototyping lab, studio production, and incubation facilities that are built around design, data, engineering, ICT and Media.
Fact check! All of the meeting room names in the Facebook partner centres throughout the world are named after things that go well together. At the Facebook partner centre in Marina One in Singapore, some of the more interesting meeting room names include: “Kai Kai and Jia Jia”, “Auntie and Uncle”, “You Tiao and Soya Bean”, “Satay and Ketupat”.
Tan Kiat How, chief executive, IMDA, said: “We are happy to work with industry partners such as Facebook who will help enrich our start-up ecosystem by bringing its expertise in key Digital Economy areas such as Artificial Intelligence, product innovation and data protection with a global approach; Coupled with our strong push to develop data collaboratives and data sharing frameworks, this ensures that Singapore continues to be an attractive location for start-ups to site their data-driven projects, test innovative ideas, develop solutions and springboard into new markets.”
In addition to the opening of the new Marina One office, Facebook’s recent investments in Singapore include:
- First renewable energy deal in Asia: Facebook has signed a long-term solar energy deal with Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp). Under this deal, Sembcorp will help provide locally-sourced renewable power to support Facebook’s recently announced 170,000 square metre Singapore data centre, as well as its other Singapore operations, over the next 20 years.
- First data center in Asia: Facebook’s first custom-built data center in Asia will be located in Singapore. The 170,000 square meter data center represents an investment of more than S$1.4 bn.
- Newly established product engineering team in Asia: Based here in Singapore, the team will be building ads products that serve Asia-first but will drive impact globally.
Fact check! The partner centre at the Facebook Marina One office is home to “the Fountain” – a digital installation consisting of five interactive screens that display various emoji’s throughout the day. Anyone attending the partner centre can select an emoji that represents them, and flick it onto the Fountain screen, to create an amalgamation of emoji’s on the screens of the fountain. The installation was playfully dubbed the Fountain due to the resemblance of tossing a coin into a fountain.
Check out photos from the opening:
Photo / Provided
Image caption: From left to right – Sandhya Devanathan, country director, Facebook; Chng Kai Fong, MD for EDB; Minister for Trade and Insustry, Chan Chun Sing; Dan Neary, VP APAC, Facebook; Alvin Tan, head of policy ASEAN, Facebook – at the new Facebook office opening