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WeWork’s China Challenger Eyes U.S. IPO Next Month

By Bloomberg / Nov 15, 2019 10:35 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

(Bloomberg) — Ucommune, the largest rival to WeWork in China, plans an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. in December even as the better-known competitor still recovers from its botched listing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The first-time share sale of the Chinese office-sharing provider could raise about $100 million, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private matters. The four-year-old company is considering a public IPO filing as soon as the week after next, one of the people said.

The deal is poised to test investors’ appetite for co-working startups after WeWork canceled its IPO in September and is now valued at less than $8 billion -- down from a peak valuation of $47 billion in January. Once the most valuable startup in the world, WeWork had to surrender much of the company in an emergency bailout. Backed by All-Stars Investment and Sequoia Capital, Ucommune was valued at $1.8 billion in August last year.

Details of the offering including timeline and size could still change as deliberations are ongoing, according to the people. A representative for Ucommune declined to comment.

Ucommune competes in China’s shared office space with WeWork and local rivals including KR Space and MyDreamPlus. The company is popular among the nation’s fast-growing crop of boot-strapped startups.

Ucommune was founded by Mao Daqing, a well-known figure in China’s property and tech circles. The grandson of Mao Ziyao, an architect who helped design Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, he spent time at Singapore’s CapitaLand and giant homebuilder China Vanke before starting his company in 2015.

The company got its start in China, but has begun setting up in cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and New York, according to its website. It operates more than 200 co-working space in 44 cities. The company was known as UrWork until it changed its name after a WeWork lawsuit.

Related: WeWork Might Give Up Some Hong Kong Office Space Amid Pullback
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