SINGAPORE (July 8): Ucommune is preparing to raise as much as US$200 million ($271 million) in a 2020 US IPO, people familiar with the matter say, a capital infusion that would help the loss-making Chinese start-up battle WeWork Cos across the world’s No 2 economy.
The four-year-old company is seeking to raise at least US$100 million, they say, asking not to be identified discussing private matters. Ucommune had reportedly targeted an IPO in 3Q2018, but market turbulence engendered by US-China tensions forced it to back off, they add. The deal is in its preliminary stages and subject to change, they say, but a successful transaction will help refill coffers drained by a race with WeWork to set up shared office spaces from Beijing to Shenzhen.
Ucommune is vying with WeWork and local rivals from KR Space to MyDreamPlus to become China’s leading provider of shared office spaces, popular among the nation’s fast-growing crop of boot-strapped start-ups. That pits it directly against WeWork, the US$47 billion outfit that pioneered the concept of trendy workspaces with colourful phone booth-like conversation areas and lively community hangouts serving beer on tap, reshaping office practices around the world.