China’s co-working giant and WeWork’s fiercest rival in this area has acquired its seventh company this year. Ucommune has finalized the acquisition with co-working space Fountown (方糖小镇) on October 17, our sister site is reporting (in Chinese). The company is already Asia’s largest coworking entity.
Under the agreement, Ucommune will be fully merged with Fountown’s 26 co-working spaces in Shanghai and Beijing. Beijing-based investment firm CEC Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Ucommune on this acquisition deal. The company did not reveal the value of the deal.
Ucommune—which rebranded from UrWork following a legal battle with WeWork over a “confusingly similar” name—was founded in 2015. The company was valued at $1.8 billion after raising $43.5 million in Series C funding round in August.
Ucommune’s funding came just weeks after WeWork announced raising $500 million from investors including Temasek and Softbank. WeWork said at the time that the funding will be used to fuel its China expansion. To counter its rival, Ucommune began its rapid expansion.
Since the beginning of the year, Beijing-based Ucommune has been actively acquiring smaller competitors including Wedo, Woo Space, New Space, and Workingdom. In September, the company acquired Beijing-based interior design firm Daga Architects and, in the following weeks, acquired workplace platform Huojian Technologies.
However, WeWork has been catching up. According to Bloomberg, The US-based co-working company is reportedly in talks with Softbank about a potential investment worth several billion dollars.
Shanghai-based Fountown was also established in 2015 and became a competitor of Ucommune. The company raised close to RMB 200 million in Series A funding round in September 2016. Last year, Ucommune and Fountown inked a strategic joint venture partnership to expand their operations in Asia as the co-working space market heats up.
After the acquisition, Ucommune will cover 37 cities with over 200 communities globally, servicing hundreds of thousands of individual members and close to 15,000 enterprises—making Ucommune the largest co-working space provider in Asia.
Founder and CEO of Ucommune Mao Daqing said as the economy of innovation flourishes in China and traditional office space market evolves, co-working space will certainly have a bright future.