Flexible Workspace Operators Set To Grow the Most in 2017

The new year is only a few days away and we know that with it great things will come for the workspace-as-a-service industry.

The latest coworking survey suggests that a significant portion of growth will come from existing operators as 67% of them plan to expand their brand in some way or another in 2017. And this is only for coworking operators, and we can’t leave out of the equation business centers and executive suite providers.

Another important fact to consider is that industry experts believe consolidation is likely to happen on a larger scale than in previous years. With this in mind, it is likely that some workspace operators will  grow more than others, depending on their aggressiveness and their growth strategy.

So, who will grow the most in 2017?

We’re not exactly Professor Trelawny, so we can’t read the future and tell you for a fact. What we can tell you, however, is the brands that are in the position to grow the most in 2017.

To power their growth, these brands all meet the following 3 criteria:

They have access to capital

They have a well-defined brand

They have a dynamic marketplace

In other words, they have the money, they know who they are, and they know where they’re going.

So here’s our shot at predicting the workspace brands that are set to grow the most in 2017.

WeWork

In their latest funding round, October, 2016, the coworking giant raised $260M. The Wall Street Journal reported that the capital would be used to fund the company’s international expansion (which came as no surprise, given WeWork’s track record).

During Forbes’ Under 30 Summit, CEO Adam Neumann said that by the second quarter of 2017 they plan to open at least 5 locations in India, plus additional locations in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bangalore. Neumann also mentioned that WeWork is planning on adding more locations in the Latin American market, adding that they’re looking into Lima, Bogota, Buenos Aires, and Rio.

Executive Centre

In Asia, the Executive Centre is set to reach 100 centres by mid-2017. Additionally, Corporate Director Wendy Lam told us that in the coming years, the Executive Centre plans on entering the emerging markets like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Dubai, Manila, and Bangkok.

Serendipity Labs

In a recent interview with Allwork, Paula Gomprecht, Senior Director of Marketing for Serendipity Labs, mentioned that starting 2017, the workspace hospitality brand will have over 100 locations in pipeline development.

Their chosen path for growth, that of franchising their locations, allows Serendipity Labs to grow faster than other workspace operators, while lessening the potential amount of risk associated with fast-paced growth and capital investment.

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Urban Station

You want to watch out and keep up to date with what this Latin American coworking operator is up to. Having recently expanded outside of their LATAM home-base by opening their first location in Egypt, Urban Station has big plans for the coming year—including breaking into the US market.

Additionally, Florencia Faivich and Marcelo Cora, co-founders of Urban Station, told Allwork that they are planning on opening at least 9 new coworking locations next year, including two spaces in Sao Paulo, Brazil and one in Lima, Peru.

That’s not all from Urban Station though. The co-founders also confessed that they are looking into opening a location in New Cairo, plus one in Dubai and Kuwait.

Office Evolution

In 2012, Office Evolution began to use the franchise model to power its expansion. Jane McPherson, VP of Marketing, told all work that the workspace brands currently has 15 locations set to open soon, including workspace centers in Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Virginia.

Earlier this year, Office Evolution ranked #39 on Entrepreneur’s 2016 Top New Franchises and Most Promising Business Opportunities. For 2017, the brand is planning to significantly grow its workspace footprint through franchise candidates, and to “not just duplicate, but to accelerate the record growth” that they experienced in 2016.

Regus and  Spaces

In a Raconteur article, Richard Morris, chief executive of Regus UK said that, “Within the UK, we are extending our network to a wider geographical spread of cities and towns from Marlow in Buckinghamshire and Ashford in Kent to Salisbury in Wiltshire.”

Additionally, Business Traveller reported that Regus is set to open new express locations at Heathrow’s Terminals 2 and 3.

We cannot leave out Regus’ coworking brand, Spaces, which is expected to grow its footprint in 2017. The Spaces website shows that the coworking brand is expecting to open 4 new locations in the near future. Locations confirmed to open soon include Paris, Geneva, Rotterdam, and Glasgow.

Citibase

Following their growth and expansion in 2016, Citibase is planning on adding even more locations across the UK for the upcoming year.

“We are looking at numerous opportunities nationwide for new centres and are talking to several of our existing building owner clients regarding the expansion of some existing centres.” In order to power their growth and sustain their client-base, Citibase is also planning on improving its services and offerings, starting by rolling out a significantly faster high-speed broadband across its network.