Analysts split down the middle when it comes to WeWork's highly anticipated IPO filing. Some calling it a "masterpiece of obfuscation," while Professor Scott Galloway, a tech observer and industry veteran, simply says "WeWTF."
There is another company that is coming up fast in the “WeViewMirror” — if you will — and that’s Knotel. Also a “flexible workspace provider,” Knotel has reversed the WeWork model and instead of “We” branding everywhere, simply leases buildings, takes a small office for its staff and then kits out the building with modular furniture a company can just move straight into and call their own.
Knotel has now completed a $400 million financing, led by Wafra, an investment arm of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Kuwait. Mori Trust (one of Japan’s leading real estate business operators), Itochu (one of Japan’s largest trading conglomerates) and Mercuria (a leading Japanese equity firm) also participated in the financing. Returning and previous Knotel investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Newmark Knight Frank, Bloomberg Beta and Rocket Internet.
Knotel will use the financing to grow its footprint in existing markets, continue expanding into “the world’s 30 largest cities” and also “deepen its engagement with global enterprise accounts.” Basically, that is code for going after the world’s biggest businesses who now require the flexibility of offices like they require AWS Cloud Service provision for their applications.
In a statement, Amol Sarva, Co-Founder and CEO of Knotel, said: “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. 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.”
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