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DEALS | WeWork backs office marketplace Upflex with $30m

Three months after securing an exclusive partnership with WeWork, flex office aggregator Upflex has raised $30m in a funding round led by the coworking giant.

Comparing itself to AirBnb, Upflex offers users bookable workspace in more than 6,000 locations around the world.

The startup has more than 700 operator partners globally, but a major selling point is the partnership with WeWork that it agreed in February, making it the sole aggregator of WeWork offices.

On top of offering desk and office booking to users, Upflex allows occupiers to bring their owned and leased real estate onto the platform.

That means employers can manage both internal and external workspace booking with one product.

Building managers can also access usage data and trends over time, helping them work out their hybrid working needs and employee satisfaction.

Growth plans

The WeWork-led funding will fuel Upflex’s plans to add more than 200 new locations per month, half of which will be in the UK and Europe.

Other investors included Newmark, Cushman & Wakefield, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, GPO Fund, Coelius Capital, Industry Ventures, Inertia Ventures, Perennial Private Investments and Silicon Valley Bank.

Christophe Garnier, CEO and co-founder of Upflex, said: “We’re excited and humbled to partner with global leaders in commercial real estate and top proptech investors who bring the market expertise and the financial backing that is needed to further our growth.

“We plan to leverage the funds to expand our market-leading technology and team as we continue to cement ourselves as the backbone of the flex industry, setting the standard for what today’s employees seek in the workplace.”

Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork, said: “WeWork has always been at the forefront of workplace innovation, and we are constantly looking for best-in-class partners to enhance the solutions we provide to companies of all sizes around the world.

“We’re confident that our exclusive partnership with Upflex provides an advantage in our ability to support a more flexible, hybrid world of work.”

How is WeWork performing?

WeWork recently published its first quarter results, posting a $504m net loss in the period. This was a significant improvement on both the previous quarter (a loss of $803m) and on the same period last year (a loss of $2.1bn).

Total revenue was $765m, exceeding its previous guidance of $740-760m. The figure – a 7% rise on the previous quarter – came as a result of WeWork recording its highest gross sales since Q1 2020.

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