The Top 8 Up-And-Coming Flexible Workspace Operators

8 coworking operators that have made their mark on the industry.
  • The coworking sector has grown significantly over the past few years, with new market entrants and consolidations giving way to high-growth companies.
  • Much of this growth happened in or around 2015, which became a landmark year for the industry.
  • Here, we count down 8 relatively young coworking brands that boast the largest flexible workspace portfolios… and the biggest bank accounts.

The flexible workspace industry has grown and evolved significantly over the past five years. In fact, a significant percentage of coworking operators have been founded since 2015 while others, which were founded before that, didn’t begin to experience major growth until 2015 or later.

The names of flexible workspace operators in the list below (in no particular order) were chosen based on the following criteria: they began operations less than 5 years ago, they are using a non-traditional model to power their growth, they’ve raised a significant amount of money, or they have experienced the vast majority of their growth over the course of the past 5 years.

1. Ucommune
Founded in 2015 as UrWork, this Chinese coworking operator currently manages 223 locations in 37 cities. It has led 9 funding rounds, the latest of which took place in November 2018, and it has raised a total of  $650.3 million. Just last year, Ucommune acquired 6 coworking competitors, significantly growing its presence in Asia.

2. The Wing
Founded in 2016, The Wing has attracted a lot of attention for its women-centric approach. It has raised $117.5 million over 5 funding rounds, the last of which took place in December, 2018. As of October, 2018, The Wing boasted over 6,000 members; it currently operates 5 locations, with another 6 set to open in the coming months.

3. CoHive (formerly known as EV Hive)
Founded in 2015, Cohive has grown to 30 coworking locations and, starting 2019, it will also be running co-living spaces. It has raised a total of $24.3 million through 3 funding rounds, the last of which took place in June, 2018 and was led by SoftBank Ventures Korea. Cohive is currently one of the largest coworking operators in Indonesia.

4. Serendipity Labs
Founded in 2011, Serendipity Labs has grown to over 30 locations and since 2017 it has amassed over 125 locations either open or under development. Serendipity Labs uses the franchise model to power its growth and has also raised $100.3 million from three investors: Craig Hall, Steelcase, and Klingenstein, Fields & Co. Serendipity Labs was one of the first operators to weave hospitality into its value proposition and the majority of its franchisees have previous experience in the hotel industry.

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5. JustCo
Founded in 2015 in Singapore, JustCo is on track to have over 100 operating locations by the end of 2020. It currently operates 23 locations in Singapore, Thailand, China, and Indonesia. It raised $12 million in a Series B funding round and now has a $200 million valuation. It also signed a joint venture partnership with one of Thailand’s leading property owners and developers, TICON, which will help JustCo in its plans to operate 100 locations by the end of next year.

6. Neuehouse
Founded in 2011, Neuehouse began getting traction in 2015 with a $25 million Series B funding round. Late last year, 2018, the coworking brand raised an additional $30 million and brought in new leadership to supervise the company’s growth. Both of its existing locations currently have long waiting lists. The recently acquired funds will be used to open new locations in Shanghai and Washington D.C., among other major markets; they also plan to open three new locations in Los Angeles.

7. Rent24
Rent24 is a German-based brand that was founded in 2015. It currently operates 50 locations in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, the US, Serbia, Russia, Croatia, and Israel. It also operates 4 co-living spaces in Germany and Croatia. It took a majority stake in UK-based The Brew back in 2017 and it hopes to open at least 45 locations in the UK and Ireland over the next two years.

8. Knotel
Founded late 2015, Knotel has recently made the headlines for having inked over 160,000 square feet in leases since December 2018. Knotel has raised $160 million in 4 rounds, the last of which took place in October, 2018. Last year, 2018, Knotel acquired Ahoy! Berlin and 42Floors; just recently it also acquired Deskeo in Paris. It currently operates 100 locations in New York, London, Berlin, Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sao Paulo; it also has plans to move into Rio de Janeiro.