Chinese co-working startup UrWork is bringing its flexible office model to Los Angeles County this month, marking its first centre in the US as a legal battle disrupts the company’s planned New York debut.
UrWork has announced it will open the co-working centre in City of Industry, an industrial and commercial suburb of Los Angeles, California. The fast-growing, $1.4 billion company is partnering with cross-border services provider iDream Space (IDS) to set up the new, 4,000 square metre (43,056 square foot) venue.
The partners are investing $15 million in the flexible office centre, which they will jointly operate, according to a statement from UrWork. The facility is located at 16839 Gale Avenue, where IDS is based, and features 300 work stations and a 1,000 square metre event space, along with meeting rooms and a range of food and fitness amenities.
“Through the partnership, our members can tap the global resources of URwork while enjoying crafted and comfortable working space on URwork premises,” commented Wang Boling, founder and CEO of IDS in the statement. “It creates instant value for our global members.”
UrWork’s New York Debut Put on Hold
The announcement comes as Beijing-based UrWork battles a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by WeWork in New York. The $20 billion US co-working startup sued to prevent its Chinese rival from using its similar-sounding moniker in WeWork’s home market. UrWork, which was founded by former China Vanke executive Mao Daqing in 2015, rejects the claim and says it will continue to litigate the matter.
The New York tussle came after UrWork had said it was partnering with US high-end workspace provider Serendipity Labs to open a co-branded location in Manhattan’s 28 Liberty Street. The partners have now decided that Serendipity Labs, which owns a majority stake in and operates the centre in the downtown office tower, will drop the UrWork brand name until the legal dispute is resolved.
In a statement, Serendipity Labs announced it will open the 34,000 square foot (3,159 square metre) centre next January, adding that “We will offer our members access to our partner’s 78 locations in China and welcome its members into our national network of upscale coworking locations.”
Chinese Startup Vows To Keep Going Global
UrWork says it remains committed to New York as part of its global expansion strategy, which so far has yielded a centre in Singapore on top of the company’s growing footprint in China..
The two-year-old startup backed by Sequoia Capital boasts a platform of 100 locations opened or in development in 33 cities worldwide, serving over 4,000 businesses and 50,000 members. UrWork has announced plans to open another 160 locations in cities from San Francisco to London over the next three years.