Real Estate

China's UrWork brings its co-working platform to Singapore

Xenia Tan
Key Points
  • China-based co-working firm UrWork launches its first overseas branch in Singapore
  • The company sees Singapore as a base to other parts of the Asian region
Chinese shared workspace start-up selects Singapore as launchpad for expansion
Chinese shared workspace start-up selects Singapore as launchpad for expansion

China-based co-working firm UrWork has joined hands with Australian consultancy firm Collective Campus to launch its first overseas branch in Singapore on Friday.

UrWork is currently backed by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial and Sequoia Capital, among others, and has established its co-working platform across 16 cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, in China. UrWork also recently announced a merger with its domestic rival, New Space, that gives the merged company a tentative value of $1.31 billion.

The company is said to be China's response to WeWork, which is based in Sillicon Valley and valued at $16.9 billion. They are not, however, the only competition in the shared working space segment in Singapore or China.

But Mao Daqing, founder and CEO of UrWork, says he isn't worried about crowded markets. Singapore, he said, was a good base for his firm to meet companies interested in going international and to act as a "bridge" to China.

"Before we came to Singapore, we (had) already developed ourselves for two years in China," Mao told CNBC's "The Rundown."

"We can survey and facilitate ... international companies when they want to go into China."

A Singapore location would also work as an outpost for Chinese entrepreneurs abroad, he said.

The company has started working with a government trade development agency, International Enterprise Singapore, as well as major property developer CapitaLand to identify spaces.

UrWork Singapore will initially be at Launchpad @ One-North in the city's tech and science district.

Mao estimated the cost for a space at UrWork in the city-state to be 400 to 600 Singapore dollars ($288 to $432) per co-working seat monthly.