National Real Estate Investor – April 6, 2018


Franchising May Be a Way for Co-Working Operators to Expand Quickly

Learning how the franchising model worksmay be the primary reason why Ucommune, China’s largest co-working operator, partnered with Serendipity Labs to enter the U.S. market.

One opportunity for co-working operators to scale up and grow quickly is through franchising, says Dallas-based Ryan Hoopes, a senior associate at real estate services firm Colliers International and co-founder of the firm’s flexible workspace advisory services practice. While only two major co-working operators so far, New York-based Serendipity Labs and Naples, Fla.-based Venture X, have leveraged this strategy, he expects more co-working operators to adopt the franchising model.

Learning how this corporate model works, in fact, may be the primary reason why Ucommune, China’s largest co-working operator, partnered with Serendipity Labs to enter the U.S. market, Hoopes notes. “If Ucommune can figure out how this works and apply it to other foreign market locations, that would be very smart,” he says, noting that the Chinese co-working operator already has 160 locations in 35 cities across China and the world.

Ucommune, the second largest co-working operator in the world with over 50,000 desks, recently opened a 34,000-sq.-ft. co-branded, co-working location at 28 Liberty Street in Manhattan in partnership with Serendipity Labs and New York RockTree Capital, an international merchant banking firm that is also a co-founding shareholder of Ucommune.

The deal provides Ucommune instant access to U.S. companies and helps its international growth, Hoopes says, while providing Serendipity Labs access to foreign investors as it expands.

Source, Patricia Kirk, Franchising May Be a Way for Co-Working Operators to Expand Quickly National Real Estate Investor.