27 May

Can WeWork Beat Its Rising Competition?

WRITTEN BY Mike Sonnenberg


Globally, IWG, the parent of Regus, is WeWork’s biggest competitor, with 2,600 office spaces around the world. Although IWG has traditionally offered managed private office spaces, it’s gearing up to compete with WeWork through its Spaces brand.

Spaces is present in over 250 cities around the world, with most of its locations in Europe. The company expects to be present in 400 locations by the end of the year.

Can WeWork Beat Its Rising Competition?

With a market cap of $3 billion as of May 23, 2019, IWG is valued at a fraction of WeWork’s private valuation. IWG reported 2.5 billion British pounds in revenue in 2018 ($3.2 billion at the current exchange rate). The company reported a net profit of 105 million pounds ($133 million) in the year.

Other regional players

Although no other coworking company has a comparable geographical presence, local brands are consolidating in regional markets. In Asia, WeWork is challenged by UrWork in China, JustCo in Singapore and Southeast Asia, Awfis and 91 Springboard in India, and so on. While WeWork employs tactics such as providing free memberships to kill the competition, it can’t do that for long if it hopes to achieve profitability.

Local players

In addition to regional players, local players with presences in micro-markets also pose competition to WeWork. Since they’re local, they know their markets better and may pose a threat to WeWork.

International property consultant CBRE (CBRE) launched its coworking brand, Hana, recently. The Blackstone Group (BX) has also invested in the Office Group, which competes with WeWork mainly in London.

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