Ucommune’s expansion plans

/ EdgeProp
March 1, 2018 1:07 PM SGT
Chinese co-working space operator Ucommune, formerly known as UrWork, is set to open its second Singapore location, at Suntec City, in April. With 13,800 sq ft of space and 300 work stations, the new space is nearly double the size of Ucommune’s first Singapore location, at JTC Launchpad @ one-north, which That spans 6,889 sq ft and has 118 work stations.
Occupying the entire seventh floor of the 45-storey Suntec City Tower 2, the space will offer views of the National Stadium and the iconic Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City. Ucommune Suntec City will fall under the company’s Elite product line, which targets professionals at MNCs and established tech companies. “The design and amenities will be different from those offered at the location in JTC Launchpad @ one-north, which targeted start-ups,” says Mao Daqing, founder and CEO of Ucommune.
One month ahead of its opening, Ucommune Suntec City has been fully leased out to blockchain consultancy firm Talenta, PR and communication services firm IDEA Communication, and oil and gas consultancy company Spemocean, says Ucommune. All three firms are based in Singapore.
Artist's impression of Ucommune's upcoming co-working space at Suntec City
With 13,800 sq ft and 300 work stations, Ucommune’s new co-working space at Suntec City will be its first in the CBD (Credit: Ucommune)
Meanwhile, the JTC Launchpad @ one-north location is more than 90% occupied, according to Mao. Tenants include Chinese fintech start-up Finbook, drone company volans-i, and educational technology company koobits.
Mao says Ucommune is not interested in being just a physical space provider. It also offers a programme called Link China, which facilitates the entry of Singaporean companies into the Chinese market and vice versa. Rates for the programme range between $100 and $300 a month for each start-up or company.
“We have helped a few Singaporean companies access China,” says Mao. One such company is proptech company Master Real Estate, which has established its footprint in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Kunming since joining Ucommune’s Link China programme last June.
Ucommune also buys stakes in selected start-ups, says Mao. “We seek to help these service providers build up their network by connecting their services with our member companies. We do not, however, seek [to control] these start-ups.”
Mao Daqing, CEO and co-founder of Ucommune
Mao: We buy stakes in selected start-ups that are service providers and seek to help them build up their network by connecting their services with our member companies. We do not, however, seek [to control] these startups (Credit: Ucommune)
He says Southeast Asia will continue to be the focus of Ucommune’s expansion plans. Last September, it announced a partnership with Indonesian co-working space provider Rework to expand into Indonesia. “We will also be looking at Malaysia this year,” says Mao, who is setting his sights on Taiwan and Hong Kong. On Jan 5, the company announced that it would open its first Taiwanese co-working location in Taipei’s Xinyi District in April. The 2,000 sq m space, which will have 200 work stations, is a collaboration with WeChat charity group Hao Kang Bao She Community Cooperation. Over the next two years, Ucommune will have 20 co-working centres in major Taiwanese cities, including Kaohsiung, says Mao.
In May, Ucommune will open its first co-working location in Hong Kong at the 30-storey Grand Millennium Plaza in Shueng Wan. The location will have 1,400 sq m and 200 work stations.
Ucommune was valued at $1.4 billion as at Feb 13, after its merger with Beijing-based co-working operator Hongtai New Space last December, and following $17.3 million of new funding from Shenzhen-based private-equity firm Qianhai Wutong Mergers and Acquisitions Funds.
The Chinese co-working operator now offers more than 4.3 million sq ft of co-working space worldwide in 120 offices across 35 cities. As at mid-January, it served 100,000 individuals and 5,000 companies, including Amazon China and Chinese bicycle sharing company Ofo.