[bctt tweet=”As WeWork continues to face dilemma after dilemma, its New York-based rival Knotel is thriving.” username=”allwork_space”]
Just two years ago, CEO Amol Sarva discovered WeWork employee Ari Matityahu spying on the company. When he was found out, Knotel’s staff placed a playful Wild West ‘Wanted’ sign with Matityahu’s face.
“Back in the day, I was quite charitable about it — I thought ‘It’s not a big deal,’” said Sarva. “It was kind of hilarious, and it was mainly a testament to how large and disorganised WeWork was becoming… Six months later, I hadn’t really thought about that little spy mission that they did.”
In the meantime, Knotel has inked nearly 140,000 square feet of space in London, bringing its total footprint to over 360,000 square feet in the city.
Knotel differs from competitors like WeWork by offering flexible offices for large clients like Microsoft, rather than coworking spaces, which it says has led to its successful expansion in London. WeWork is still the city’s largest tenant with around 2.6 million square feet of office space.
While WeWork is one of the largest coworking operators across the globe, its turbulent path to an IPO and the resignation of its former CEO Adam Neumann has cast a spell of uncertainty over the company. Sarva believes that WeWork’s troubles stem from its flawed rapid expansion business model.
Going forward, Knotel is planning to double the number of cities Knotel has a presence in. It currently has 240 spaces across 16 cities.