WeWork Is Acquiring China’s Naked Hub For $400M

WeWork Cos. is purchasing Chinese co-working startup Naked Hub as part of a continued growth pattern in the most populous country in the world, reports Bloomberg.

The company will buy Naked Hub, which is three years old, for $400 million, according to two sources who asked to remain unidentified, but were reported as being close to the transaction. One source is reported saying that most of the value will come in the form of equity.

Naked Hub founder Grant Horsfield described the deal as “a hard decision, but it was the right decision for us.”

“This allows us to make our dreams bigger and quicker,” he said.

WeWork, a New-York based company, is the largest global business of its kind. “WeWork is not a co-working company,” Adam Neumann, chief executive officer at WeWork, said. “WeWork is as much a co-working space as Amazon is a bookstore.”

He said the companies were attracted to each other due to a shared interest in doing more than simply offering office space for money.

WeWork’s presence in Asia could be characterized as an aggressive push. It started in 2016 with a Shanghai office, and now it has more than 10,000 members across 13 offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The company raised $4.4 billion from SoftBank Group Corp last year for its worldwide operations and group of Asian subsidiaries. WeWork was valued at $20 billion during the time of the funding.

Competition remains in the Chinese market, where a number of co-working companies vie for customers and space, while WeWork remains dominant in the U.S. This has given rise to combative moments in the Chinese market, such as when WeWork sued a Chinese co-working company called UrWork for trademark claims until UrWork altered its name to Ucommune.