WeWork’s Chinese rival Ucommune eyeing end-year US IPO: report

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A WeWork co-working space in Vancouver, Canada. (Image credit: GoToVan/Flickr)

Ucommune, China’s homegrown version of WeWork, filed a prospectus with the US securities regulator in late September as it prepares to go public by the end of the year, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: The news was a surprise to many after the debacle involving WeWork, the world’s largest coworking space provider, having to scrap its own public listing plans and accept a $10 billion bailout from Softbank on Tuesday.

Details: Apart from the confidential prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission,  Ucommune has held preparatory meetings with investors to gauge appetite in the market, which will be key in determining whether the Beijing-based startup will go public, according to Reuters citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

  • Citigroup and Credit Suisse are the major players involved in the listing, while Bank of America has a smaller role, according to the report.
  • Ucommune is an investor in TechNode.

Context: Last week, SoftBank offered a $5 billion cash infusion to WeWork, a $3 billion tender offer for existing shareholders and, according to the Wall Street Journal, $1.7 billion for CEO Adam Neumann to walk away. In return, the Japanese tech conglomerate owns 80% of the company.

  • Ucommune was valued at $2.6 billion after closing a Series D in November 2018 when it raised $200 million, up from $43.5 million just three months earlier.
  • In 2018, Beijing-based Ucommune acquired seven companies, including competitors Wedo, Woo Space, New Space, and Workingdom, architect firm Daga Architects and intelligent workplace platform Huojian Technologies.
  • In the same year, it also changed its name from UrWork after WeWork complained that it was “confusingly similar.”
  • Founded in 2015, it spans 200 locations in 37 countries and plans to expand to 350 locations.

Updated to include that Ucommune has invested in TechNode in the “Details” section.