China’s answer to WeWork launches in Singapore
URWork, one of China’s most prominent co-working space operators, is starting its push for overseas expansion in Singapore. In July, URWork Singapore is expected to open its doors to startups and entrepreneurs, with a 640 square meter space at Launchpad@One North in the city’s One North science and tech district.
The company is partnering with Australian accelerator and innovation consultancy Collective Campus to bring its first shared workspace outside of China to life. Collective Campus has to date fostered more than 50 startups that have raised over US$10 million in funds.
The hook-up is intended to create collaboration opportunities for startups and larger businesses across southeast Asia, Australasia, and China.
“Our goal is to establish a global leading co-working space platform, to stimulate business interactions based on our membership community, and to encourage creative minds to make a difference in our dynamic environment”, said Mao Daqing, URWork’s founder and CEO, in a statement.
With Collective Campus on board, URWork Singapore will create “links among entrepreneurs who are keen to explore the China, Singapore, and Australia markets”, he added.
URWork has already been working with Singaporean companies since signing a memorandum of understanding with trade development body International Enterprise Singapore and local property giant CapitaLand last December. This partnership saw the three organizations collaborate to help Singaporean small businesses enter the Chinese market by offering co-working spaces, as well as business leads and advisory services.
URWork faces stiff competition in an increasingly crowded market. Silicon Valley-based WeWork, which is valued at US$16.9 billion, is a key rival, while there are dozens of smaller players in the Chinese co-working space sector, such as People Squared and Soho 3Q. The shared workspace segment is similarly crowded in Singapore, with both local and international providers like Collision8, The Great Room, The Hive, The Hub, and Spacemob vying for customers.
Last month, URWork’s domestic competitor, New Space, announced that the two co-working space providers would merge. The combined entity has been tentatively valued at US$1.31 billion and has plans to operate 150 venues in 35 cities worldwide within the next three years.
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