China’s co-working Unicorn Ucommune expands its turf to Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Beijing 22 Jan 2018 – Ucommune (Beijing) Venture Investment Ltd (known as Ucommune) has announced to launch its first location in Hongkong in February, on the heel of its C round funding which raised $179 million and the merger with New Space to form China’s largest coworking network earlier this year.
Following the opening of the company’s first co-working site in JTC launchpad Singapore in June 2017, Ucommune has confirmed its roll-out to Hongkong. Occupying 15,898 sq.f. at Grand Millennium Plaza, a 30-floor high-rise complex in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, Ucommune Hongkong location provides 230 work stations and will start operation after Chinese New Year in 2018. “By securing this deal, we take a foothold in the international financial hub with our flagship site in the heart of the city. It’s a strategic step that bolsters Ucommune’s position and facilitates easier people-to-people exchange between Hongkong and mainland,” said Dr. Mao Daqing, founder and CEO of Ucommune.
With 158,898 square feet, Sheung Wan is emerging to be a new hub for start-ups and MNCs opting for a more agile and nimble collaborating environment. Co-working spaces allow more flexibility on leasing terms and good for raising the overall satisfaction rate of employee.
Ucommune’s co-working spaces incorporate cutting-edge IoT, AI and face recognition technologies to cater perfectly to high growth SMEs and MNCs that value operational efficiency. Its broad range of cross-industry services integrating HR, IT, accounting, marketing functions provide a premium platform that facilitates business expansion for start-ups that targets mainland China. After its merger with New Space, owned by Hongtai capital last week, it has now operation in 120 locations in over 35 cities, covering a total area of 4 million sq.f.
Smart office solution embraced by all
MNCs are starting to embrace the concept of co-working after experiencing its benefits and Ucommune is responding to their demand by increasing their global footprint. Co-working is a smart office solution that reduces the rental cost which forms the second largest overhead cost in business operation. Co-working spaces provide custom-made solutions for corporates without committing them to long term contracts. Hong Kong as an international business hub aggregates creators, freelancers and start-up entrepreneurs from a diversified range of businesses. The appeal of co-working had extended to a group of digital-savvy and work-on-the-go business owners who used to prefer traditional offices.
Hongkong coworking space has been booming over the last few years in response to the growth of social enterprises. Supply of co-working space has increased 42 per cent to 983,000 square feet in the first 11 months of the year, with more than half or 499,000 square feet in grade A towers, according to figures from CBRE. As grade A office rents continue to grow in Hong Kong, co-working space operators provide reliable and flexible lease agreements that allow companies to maximise space and costs. CBRE’s Asia-Pacific Occupier Survey revealed that 64 percent of multinationals plan to use some form of third party office space by 2020. Cost savings was cited as a driver, followed by leasing flexibility and collaboration.
Dr.Mao deems that the future working landscape is centred around decentralisation, digitalisation and decarbonisation. Through sharing co-working spaces, profitable organisations can contribute to cutting the carbon footprint substantially while enjoying the benefits of community synergy and digital technology which improves operational efficiency.
“At Ucommune, our purpose had been and will always be to build a healthy eco-system and support the growth of start-ups and SMEs alike with nimble, efficient and quality services. We will achieve this through collaborating with more synergistic parties in the eco-system,” he says. Dr. Mao is very upbeat about the growth aspect in Hongkong: “coworking has room to grow and we are here to stay. It complements the traditional workspace with an innovative edge and taps the business synergy through open sourcing at relatively lower cost. This offers ample opportunities for start-ups that would not be available in a traditional office setting. “
Founded in April 2015, Ucommune (Beijing) Venture Investment Co., Ltd, is a co-working disrupter and leader in China that provides start-ups, SMEs and corporate tenants with on-demand, short-term leasing and customised space solutions at an exceptional value. Backed by renowned investors such as Sequoia Capital, Zhen Fund, Noah Wealth Management, Sinovation Ventures, Hongtai Capital Ucommune posts a C round valuation of US$ 1.4 billion. Aggregating over 1000 professional business service suppliers across a broad spectrum, Ucommune serves over 100,000 individual members and over 5000 enterprises. The company offers in-house Express Financing program and a series of acceleration programs to help start-ups scale and grow. Its proprietary Link China Program partners with Chinese government agencies and a broad range of service suppliers to help foreign start-ups ease market-entry in to China.