Chinese co-working office space URWork is moving a step further to catch up with its U.S. peer WeWork, at least in valuation. The company announced today the completion of 400 million RMB (58 million USD) series B at a valuation of 7 billion RMB (1.02 billion USD), our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.
The valuation may still not comparable to WeWork’s whopping 16 billion USD mark, but it already boosts the company to China’s first co-working unicorn.
Investors of the round include Tianhong Asset Management, a fund management affiliate of Alibaba’s Ant Financial, Junfa Group, Shanghai Chuanghehui, an alumni of renowned business schools, Tianming Shuangchuang Technology and Dahong Group, adding to a top-notch current investor roster that includes reputable VCs like Sequoia Capital China, ZhenFund, and Sinovation Ventures.
As of present, the co-working company has raised six rounds of funding with total venture fundraising of over 1.2 billion RMB (175 million USD).
URWork was founded in April 2015 by Mao Daqing, former vice president of Chinese real estate conglomerate Vanke Co., Ltd. In addition to providing the physical spaces, the shared-office-space startup is actively constructing an ecosystem that involves all kinds of supporting services, such as, financial assistant platform, human resources services, startup acceleration program, and space design.
Operating in twelve Chinese cities serving 15,000 users, the firm is poised to accelerate its oversea expansion that started in second half of 2016 in Singapore, London, New York, and Taiwan.
The new funding is earmarked for opening more spaces domestically and overseas, facilitating business cooperation among member companies, improving and standardizing supporting services, and adopting mobile and smart hardware devices in the spaces, according to a company statement.
Thanks to a series factors like the rise of the millennial workforce and government support, China is recording a boom of co-working spaces in the recent years. Capital flows in the sector to capitalize on the market boom. Upcoming co-working startup nakedHub received new funding at the end of last year for overseas expansion.
While Chinese co-working startups are busy with globalization plans, their foreign counterparts are targeting China. WeWork launched its first space in Shanghai last year after sealing a 430 million USD pay packet to fuel their Asia expansion. Australia’s largest startup hub Fishburners is also entering China.