Once a damsel in distress, Knotel could be making a comeback as a knight in shining armor.
While the coworking company’s return to the industry isn’t exactly straightforward, any sign of life is an improvement. Little has been heard from the operator after it was acquired by brokerage Newmark last year, but that appears to be changing.
In recent months, Knotel has slowly begun to get back up after a bankruptcy-level fall. This has included bringing in former WeWork executives like Michael Gross, as well as signing new deals in Florida and other areas.
For instance, the firm opened a 22,000 square foot work club in London’s Clerkenwell neighborhood that will include workplace and community-driven amenities.
“Companies are seeking out inspiring locations with amenitized flexibility in their workspace planning,” said Gross, who is now Knotel’s CEO. “That’s why we are backing bricks and mortar in London — especially when the bricks are as beautiful as those in the Old Sessions House.”
Years ago, Knotel was viewed as WeWork’s slightly more sophisticated, yet chaotic cousin under the leadership of founder Amol Sarva.
While its attempt at being the next big coworking operator initially failed, the desire for flexibility and Knotel’s established branding could help propel it forward as companies continue to navigate the uncertain future of the workplace.
“Now is a new dawn for coworking,” said Sam Rosen, CEO and founder of Deskpass. “Newmark is going to get there faster, leveraging an established brand, than somebody who’s starting from the ground up.”