Chinese co-working space operator Ucommune, formerly known as UrWork, just announced the acquisition of Daga Architects, a Beijing-based interior design firm, to bring state-of-art designs to its co-working space networks, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.
Co-founded by four experienced designers including Shen Jianghai, formerly at the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, Daga Architects has been a long-term partner of Ucommune and teamed up with the firm for the design of its spaces in Hangzhou, Singapore, Kunming, and 5L Meet in Beijing, part of another space operator project co-founded by Ucommune founder Mao Daqing.
As an early entrant, Ucommnue gradually rose to dominance in China’s co-working space market in line with a swift market consolidation of the sector. It has acquired a series of smaller but strategic competitors, such as Wedo, Woo Space, New Space, Workingdom. Thanks to these partnerships, the company claims to operate 60 offices in Beijing, over 20 in Shanghai and a significant presence in China’s Great Bay Area.
The Chinese co-working giant is competing with its US counterpart WeWork both in China and globally. WeWork, which is seeing great potential in China, has sped up its China push since the beginning of this year. In addition to land grabbing in the local market, Ucommune is fighting back with a large-scale global expansion plan.
While gradually establishing physical footholds across the world, the company expands its ecosystem by tapping related businesses. It’s no surprise that interior design to become first areas that Ucommune looks at given the close-related nature of the two industries. Top executives from both WeWork and Ucommnune have attributed great importance to design as a differentiating factor.
But nothing short for a solid funding could support the company’s quick growth. The firm’s latest $43.5 million round was received in this August at a valuation of $1.8 billion and it’s reportedly heading for a Hong Kong IPO in the next year.