Crain’s – March 29, 2018

Serendipity Labs opens its first New York co-working space with Beijing’s UCommune as a minority partner

UCommune, China’s largest co-working-space operator, extended its footprint to New York by investing in the first Manhattan location for Serendipity Labs, a Rye, New York, based operator that is also in expansion mode.

UCommune is a minority partner in the 34,000 square-foot space at 28 Liberty Street, which opened in a soft launch on March 12, and will have its grand opening in April. The Beijing-based company was founded in 2015, is in 130 countries with more than 7 million square-feet of space, and describes itself as the second-largest co-working business in the world, after WeWork.

The partnership with Serendipity Labs extends beyond the downtown location. Both companies are integrating their memberships on their mobile app, which will allow UCommune members in China and Serendipity Labs members in the U.S. to book desks at the other company’s locations.

Serendipity [Labs] has set itself apart in the industry by offering co-working operations that meet levels of compliance in privacy, security and technology that are required by large corporations, including those in financial services and healthcare. The company jumped at the chance to bring in UCommune as a partner.

“We wanted to have access to China’s largest co-working company,” said John Arenas, Serendipity [Labs]’s CEO and a former general manager of Regus Americas. “It has 10 times as many locations as WeWork in China, and will likely prevail there, as always happens with the state-backed brand.”

Source, Matthew Flamm, Chinese co-working giant gets a toehold in New York market Crain’s New York Business.