Ucommune Receives Extra CNY 200 Million from Longxi Real Estate
Ucommune received strategic financing from a real estate company. The share workspace business is no longer as promising as it was in two years ago. Leaning on real estate might be an optimal choice for share workspace business.
Source from ChinaVenture,com, on April 4th, Ucommune (优客工场) received CNY 200 million (USD 30 million) strategic investment from Longxi Real Estate (龙熙地产). Ucommune had completed its series D financing at USD 300 million in November 2018 before this strategic investment.
Well-praised as China’s Wework, Ucommune is the biggest unicorn in shared workspace company. Founded in 2015, Ucommune has received several strategic investments and secured rounds of financings. It was rumored the Ucommune had been seeking to launch initial offering (IPO) in this February. Whether Ucommune is going public, its latest valuation was CNY 21 billion (USD 3.1 billion).
Longxi Real Estate is the real estate company of Beijing Xingpai Group (Xingpai Group, 星牌集团). Xingpai Group has invested three times in Ucommune. As early as in May 2017, Xingpai Group invested millions of dollars and in later series Pre-C financing, Xingpai Group jointly financed Ucommune in amount of CNY 1,200 million (USD 179.1 million). Other than Ucommune, Xinpai Group also invested in 5L Meet (共享际), which is branded as a one-stop co-living community and lifestyle platform combining workspace and living community. Both 5L Meet and Ucommune’s founder is Dr. MAO Daqing (毛大庆).
Xingpai Group’s business ranges from sports, healthcare, financial, real estate, etc. Its real estate business map covers most top-tier cities in China. With a similar map with Xingpai Group, Ucommune and 5L Meet have same business coverage. Besides, whether Ucommune or 5L Meet is dependent on the real estate property to provide working space or community services.
For a real estate company, investing in shared workplace startups can have a better position in business cooperation with these startups. Introducing share workspace in the CBD (central business district) built by the real estate company is a selling point to attract small-to-middle business.
However, the share workspace business is questioned frequently in past few months, after the news and rumors about Kr Space’s (氪空间) layoff and SoftBank deducted investment to Wewrok from USD 16 billion to USD 2 billion. The market faith of shared workspace is shaken enormously. An outlet of shared workspace might be acquired by real estate companies, who have the commercial-use property and enough fund to operate the business. There might be other outlets, but considering the top 1 player, WeWork, the situation in its latest financing round, and China’s bankrupted shared workspace startups, how to operate and survive independently is a question with limited answers.