- Chinese coworking brand Ucommune has launched a bespoke IT and design service.
- ‘U Bespoke’ forms part of Ucommune’s commitment to be “the leading one-stop marketplace for office space solutions.”
- Following a string of acquisitions earlier this year, coworking company Ucommune is now valued at $1.7 billion.
UrWork Beijing Venture Investment Co., Ltd (known as Ucommune) has announced the launch of ‘U Bespoke’, a made-to-order consultancy service integrating interior and IT system design for landlords and corporate members, as part of its evolution into a total workplace solution provider.
Following the momentum of a string of strategic acquisitions earlier this year, including China’s Wedo Space and Woo Space, coworking company Ucommune is now valued at US$1.7bn – and is following up on its commitment to be the leading one-stop market place for office space solutions.
Honouring its ethos of maximising community engagement, U Bespoke essentially enables corporate members and landlords alike to contract their workspace interior and IT system design services to achieve higher employee engagement and higher yields.
“Through progressive conversations with clients, we have observed a lack of custom-made design services,” said Mr. Mao Daqing, founder and Chairman of Ucommune. “U Bespoke is the answer to the operating flexibility that is much missed in a fragmented market.
“By taking on an experience-oriented mindset, we provide a value-added solution that enables SMEs to focus on their core business, to better attract and engage with talents and to gain the competitive edge in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.”
Staffed by acclaimed design professionals, including a former apprentice of Zaha Hadid, U Bespoke has accomplished 50 projects so far, ranging from factories, shopping malls and sports halls, to Beijing courtyards and art zones.
“U Bespoke is an offshoot of the internal design capabilities of Ucommune, and has been well received nationwide as part of the total Ucommune experience. Our cluster of interior and IT designers are actively engaging with corporate members to cater to unique requests such as Fengshui, automated operations, and integration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices,” said Dr. Mao.
Leveraging its proprietary IT system, U Bespoke has been able to reduce the planning and execution time of facility-conversion by over 60%. The stunning line-up of its portfolio has received a chorus of praise on China’s dominant social media, Wechat, from its existing office clients which pulled in new tenants. “We reached 90% occupancy within one month and managed to increase our rental yield by 50%,” said Dr. Mao.
The design discipline of U Bespoke has been actively engaging with clients to pivot customisation needs and has partnered with fast-growing companies such as KuaiShou, a user-generated-content (UGC) based video editing and publishing platform with over 400 million users and 60 million daily active users, and Horizon Robots, which bagged multi-million dollar investment from software giant Intel in January.
Apart from SMEs, Ucommune also works actively with landlords on space activation. “We understand that some landlords might not be willing to accept the large capital outlay needed to refurbish their space. Therefore, we have launched an attractive financing and profit sharing scheme to align our interest for specially selected properties. As such, we can export our brand without having to source new spaces ourselves,” said Mr. Mao.
Co-working is a smart office solution that reduces the rental cost that forms the second largest overhead cost for any business operation. Through providing SMEs and MNCs with custom-made solutions without committing them to long-term contracts, total rental cost is lowered and operating efficiency is maximised. The appeal of co-working has extended to an emerging group of digital-savvy and work-on-the-go millennials and white-collar workers who used to opt for traditional shared offices.
Ucommune has recently merged Woo Space and Wedo Space to reach a US$1.7 billion valuation and has set up locations in 160 cities across 35 countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing, and Shenzhen. It has over 100,000 registered members and 800 accredited service suppliers on its proprietary IT system. The debut of the U Bespoke service spells new opportunities for growth in strategic markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia as part of Ucommune’s push for globalisation.