Wednesday 21 August 2019 5:39 pm

Wework rival Knotel secures unicorn status with $400m funding

Knotel, the flexible workspace rival to Wework, today said it has achieved “unicorn” status after securing a fresh round of funding worth $400m (£329m).

The New York-based startup bagged the bumper cash injection in a round led by Wafra, the investment arm of Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund.

Read more: Wework lost $700m in first half, pre-IPO filing shows

Knotel has attempted to set itself apart from its more famous rival Wework by offering flexible fully-furnished office space to large businesses, rather than co-working spaces for freelancers and small firms.

The series C round takes Knotel’s total funding over the last four years to $560m and makes the company the latest in a growing list of so-called unicorns with a valuation of more than $1bn.

Knotel said it will use the funds to grow its footprint in existing markets and continue its expansion into the world’s 30 largest cities.

“Knotel is building the future of the workplace, and we are excited to welcome a group of investors who believe passionately in our product, vision and ability to execute,” said co-founder and chief executive Amol Sarva. 

“Wafra will help us continue our rapid global expansion and solidify our position as the leader in a fast-growing, trillion-dollar flexible office market.”

Knotel now holds 263,000 square feet of office space in London across 63 buildings, and the firm said it is looking to become the capital’s number one workspace provider by building count.

In addition to expansion, Knotel said it will also use the funding to boost its tech offering, including its blockchain platform Baya, which it uses to help drive acquisition decision.

The announcement comes ahead of Wework’s highly-anticipated initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to be one of the largest floats of the year.

Read more: Wework grabs €62m from EU in Brexit deal for London office spot

However, Wework has come under scrutiny amid concerns the loss-making company could be overvalued.

Japanese firms Mori Trust, Itochu and Mercuria also contributed to Knotel’s funding round, as well as existing investors including venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners and property group Newmark Knight Frank.

Main image credit: Getty

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