- Asia is the fastest-growing coworking and shared workspace market
- Rumor has it that WeWork is expanding its Asia footprint by acquiring naked Hub for US$400 million
- naked Hub’s CEO, Jonathan Seliger, stated earlier this year that the company was “in contact with people in New York”
Bloomberg reported earlier today that “WeWork Cos. is buying Chinese coworking startup naked Hub as part of a continued expansion in the world’s most populous country, according to people familiar with the deal.”
The news comes shortly after naked Hub announced its unique “pay as you go coworking option”, which would allow coworking individuals to use naked Hub locations on a by-minute basis, granting them access to a hot-desking area, as well as the spaces’ amenities and services.
naked Hub currently operates around 50 flexible workspaces in Asia and Australia. Earlier this year, Jonathan Seliger, CEO of naked Hub, spoke with Allwork.Space about the company’s expansion plans for the coming years, including going beyond the Asia-Pacific region.
At the time, Seliger mentioned that naked Hub had one of various London locations underway and that “they were currently in contact with people in New York” to expand into the US market. Coincidentally, the coworking giant WeWork is located in New York, and according to Bloomberg, the company “will pay about $400 million for the three-year old business (naked Hub). The majority (of which) will come in the form of equity.”
Asia is the fastest-growing coworking market out there. Research from Cushman & Wakefield this year found that “memberships (are) growing at a higher than global average of 40%.” And that “the shared workspace industry has leased more than 8 million square feet over the last two years.”
WeWork has had its eyesight set on Asia for quite some time now. Last year WeWork’s expansion in Asia spurred a legal battle against its biggest rival in China Ucommune (formerly UrWork); the company also acquired SpaceMob and Reuters reported that the company was planning on investing at least $500 million to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and South Korea.”
The acquisition of naked Hub will mark WeWork’s second acquisition in Asia.
And while they are set on powering their growth in Asia, it’s also common knowledge that WeWork has been “on a shopping spree for the past year,” acquiring companies both from the industry and also outside of it (like Flatiron School, Wavegarden, and Lord & Taylor’s Flagship building).
As the coworking and shared workspace industry continues to rapidly grow in Asia, it comes as no surprise that WeWork is hoping to get a strong footing in the arena, especially as its largest Asia rival Ucommune continues to build and expand its portfolio, both through owned-locations, as well as acquisitions.