The launch of UrWork at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north marks its first foray outside China. UrWork hopes it will be a springboard for Singapore businesses looking for opportunities in China and for companies there to go global.

Mainland Chinese co-working space provider UrWork has partnered Collective Campus, a start-up accelerator based in Australia and Singapore, to set up a 6,889 sq ft co-working space at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, which was officially launched on June 23.

UrWork launched its first Singapore co-working space at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north on June 23

The new co-working space in Singapore offers 118 workstations, six meeting rooms and a multifunction hall. The space is already 40% taken up. The maiden co-working space in Singapore will bring the total number of co-working spaces in UrWork’s network to 66. It already has 65 in 18 cities across China.

UrWork at JTC LaunchPad @ one-north has 118 workstations, six meeting rooms and a multifunction hall

UrWork was founded in 2015 by its CEO, Mao Daqing, now a Singapore citizen. Mao had spent 14 years with CapitaLand in China, and was with Vanke, one of China’s biggest property groups, for six years prior to founding UrWork. Renowned venture capital firms that have invested in the firm include Sequoia Capital, Zhen Fund and Noah Wealth Management.

“The establishment of the Singapore co-working space, our first overseas, enables us to embrace the Singapore market,” says Mao. “Our objective in setting up an overseas co-working space is not just to provide space but to become a springboard — not just for Chinese companies to venture overseas, but also for Singapore entrepreneurs to know us, and through us, to enter the Chinese market.”

Mao: Our objective in setting up an overseas co-working space is not just to provide space but to become a springboard

On Jan 18, 2017, UrWork raised US$58 million ($80 million) in a series B funding round from Tianhong Asset Management, a mutual fund under Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group, and property developer Junfa Group. The funding round valued UrWork at about US$1.03 billion, making it China’s first unicorn in the co-working space.

Tripartite partnership

In December 2016, UrWork signed a memorandum of understanding with CapitaLand and International Enterprise Singapore to facilitate the entry of Singapore companies into China. The main thrust of the MOU is for UrWork to provide co-working spaces in CapitaLand’s properties in China and Singapore. IE Singapore’s role is to identify and link potential Singapore small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to these co-working spaces in China, where they will also enjoy preferential fees.