While the sharing economy mania is cooling down in the bike rental industry with ofo retreating from India and Australia, the field of co-working is seeing some ambitious moves. Ucommune (previously UrWork), China’s leading co-working space and startup community service provider, announced today an RMB 300 million ($45 million) acquisition of Shanghai-based co-working company Workingdom.
The acquisition is not Ucommune’s first one in 2018—the company is currently on a spending spree which is set to continue for the entire year. In January, Ucommnue confirmed its 100% stake acquisition of co-working service provider New Space. In March, Ucommune announced to have acquired Chinese co-working space Woo Space. During the same month, the company acquired Wedo Union, a community-based co-working and incubation enterprise that received Ucommune’s financing in 2017. Wedo Union received the title National Innovation Space (众创空间) from the city of Beijing.
According to Ucommune, more acquisitions are in process but details are yet to be released. The company ambitious moves are considered as an attempt to aggressively grab the market and consolidate as the leader in China’s co-working industry.
It is also likely a demonstration of power to rival WeWork. The US-based global leader in shared spaces acquired local co-working startup Naked Hub in April this year and has been setting up new sites including one in Beijing’s popular area Sanlitun.
Ucommune is currently said to be valued at RMB 11 billion, with 160 co-working sites in 35 cities around the world. The company completed its RMB 300 million Series C in December, 2017.
According to Ucommune’s official release, the company’s decision is based on the two parties’ commercial compatibility and Ucommune’s strategic consideration of China’s tier-1 cities where resources gather and market demand remains strong and stable. Ucommune expects to have over 20 sites in Shanghai alone, offering more than 5,000 work seats after the acquisition is completed.
Ucommune hopes to leverage Workingdom’s existing infrastructure including community operation, product design, and corporate culture to deepen the company’s penetration in the competitive co-working space.
TechNode has approached Ucommune for more acquisition details and will update when a response is received.