China’s Coworking Giant Ucommune Plans Singapore Expansion

Ucommune predicts a 17% annual growth rate for workspace in Southeast Asia, and is planning further expansion in Singapore.
  • Chinese coworking brand Ucommune is seeking expansion opportunities in Singapore
  • Ucommune foresees a 17% annual growth rate over the next 5 years for on-demand workspace in Southeast Asia
  • The company recently acquired rivals including Workingdom and Woo Space to pave the way for further growth

Ucommune (Beijing) Venture Investment Ltd (known as Ucommune) is looking to expand on its current strong array of products in Singapore, the tech hub of Southeast Asia. Ucommune seeks to break the current market perception as the dark horse in the global coworking space, in a bid to make headway as the market leader.

After acquiring rivals such as Workingdom and Woo Space, Ucommune repositioned its business strategy to meet demands for more office space from Small Medium Enterprises (SME) to Multi-National Companies (MNCs) in Singapore. Ucommune is also present in major business hubs in Greater China and America and is valued at US$1.7 billion. They are exploring more expansion opportunities in Southeast Asia (SEA) – with Singapore being its first strategic pit-stop, as shown by favourable office locations in One-North and Suntec.

Singapore has been a successful test-bed for Ucommune’s initial expansion strategy. Therefore, Ucommune raised an additional C+ round of multi-million US Dollars in venture capital funding to expand its SEA footprint. This success shows that the investors are confident in the prospect of SEA beyond just the traditional power house of China and USA.

Ucommune foresees a 17% annual growth rate for the next 5 years for on-demand workspace in SEA. Therefore, Ucommune seeks to provide reliable, timely and long-term solutions to the region.

Ucommune Meets Growing Requirement for Flexible Office Spaces

Ucommune’s flexible workspace is a good fit for the changing working habits of Singaporean employees. A recent Gartner survey showed 93% of employees achieved greater productivity with flexible working spaces and 63% of employees are out of office for at least one day a week. Start-ups who choose coworking space are known to save as much as $4,000 in rent every year.

Based on its Q1 findings, fixed office space rental increased by 1.3% which resulted in 12.5% increase in vacancy rate island-wide in Singapore. Local businesses are attuned to manpower fluidity with contract-based hires which force their business model to adapt to coworking space arrangements to cut unnecessary costs on unused space.

“Singapore has always been a hotspot for entrepreneurs especially in the fintech and blockchain fields over the last 5 years,” said Dr. Mao Daqing, founder and chairman of Ucommune. “Government initiatives such as Smart Nation is a major boost. Singapore offers a strong pool of talent within its start-up ecosystem and we are keen to connect businesses with one another for meaningful collaboration. All this happens within the comfort of a coworking hybrid space.” Dr. Mao is confident in broadening Ucommune’s footprint in Singapore. Ucommune will show unwavering support towards Singapore’s direction of becoming a globally recognized innovation hub.

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Innovation Amid Fierce Competition

The fierce competition of coworking space providers influenced Ucommune to seek out solutions to differentiate itself. Its member-oriented approach minimises time and cost and maximises productivity. Ucommune integrates smart technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its product offering for its competitive advantage and creates a level playing field for its tenants with tech start-ups.

Ucommune has rolled out in-house initiatives such as UBespoke (a made-to-order design consultancy system to shorten facility-conversion planning and execution period by 60%), and online mobile app UBazaar — an exclusive online to offline (O2O) service catered to Ucommune members. These are evidence of Ucommune’s long term dedication to delivering smart coworking solutions conveniently to young companies as well as companies that are seeking cultural transformation.

“The emergence of tech start-ups in Singapore is unparalleled thus far, putting it on par with buzzing fintech hubs of London and China. Singapore is a hospitable second-home to align ongoing projects within the Smart Nation initiatives. Ucommune recognises this as an opportune time to onboard local and foreign SMEs with our growing pool of membership network,” said Dr. Mao.

Optimistic Performance

Ucommune established itself as a coworking space leader and integrated service solution provider within just three years of establishment. Ucommune opened its first office in Singapore within two months of its presence in April 2018 at JTC LaunchPad @ OneNorth.

Soon after, Ucommune soft-opened its second office in Suntec Tower 2 in March 2018 which tripled its workstations from 118 to 418 in 20,689 square feet.

As its One-North office has over 90% occupancy, Ucommune expects some tenants to move to its Suntec offices which is preparing exciting AI functions such as facial recognition and UBazaar for O2O services.

Singapore is a springboard for foreign tech start-ups and the importance of a conducive co-working space should not be underestimated for a company who wish to establish a strong presence in the Southeast Asia region. Ucommune is committed to work hand-in-hand with companies to propel them into the international spotlight that shines utmost recognition, reputation, and respect.

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