Business

Co-working giant WeWork to set up 10 labs in India

New York-based co-working giant WeWork said that it is planning to set up 10 ‘WeWork Labs’ in India by next year which would provide support to startups. The Softbank-backed company which was valued in 2017 at $20 billion on Thursday unveiled one of its first ‘WeWork Labs’ in the country. The lab is a centre for early-stage start-ups that takes an innovative and personalized approach to help entrepreneurs succeed.

“After seeing the...success stories already coming out of [from a pilot programme lab in India], we have developed both confidence and an appetite to do more of it,” said Roee Adler, senior vice president, global head of WeWork Labs, in an interview. “We will be...opening them up in both in Bengaluru and Mumbai over the next couple of months,” he said.

Coupled with WeWork’s global community of over 2,68,000 members, WeWork Labs will serve as a hub for early-stage startups in India. It would also be providing members with space, access to investment, and educational resources to help grow their business.

“Indian start-up ecosystem is going to be much larger over the next few years. And there's room for Google, Microsoft and us,” Mr.Adler pointed out when asked about the uniqueness of ‘WeWork Labs’ compared to accelerator programmes offered by top tech companies. “But one of the things that I think is fairly unique is [our] global connection. Indian entrepreneurs...could actually benefit from connecting to people in other countries,” he said.

WeWork Labs was launched in early 2018 and has a presence in the U.S., China, Korea, Brazil and Israel. WeWork said the members are provided with a holistic, unique and no-equity startup programme to support them through their journey as they grow their ideas and business.

“We really see India as a great market because of all the demographics [and] a large [number] of enterprises as well as startups and small businesses that thrive in the ecosystem,” said Karan Virwani, chief WeWork executive officer, WeWork India.

JLL, India’s largest professional real estate services company, estimates that over 13 million people will work out of co-working spaces by 2020, according to a study by the firm. The company says that demand for flexible offices – including co-working spaces and serviced offices – is growing faster in the Asia Pacific than anywhere else in the world. In India, the growth of flexible office space is expected to grow at 40% – 50% in 2018, says the report.

“By the end of the year, we anticipate flexible workplaces would attract investment up to $400 million,” Sandeep Sethi, MD, integrated facilities management West Asia, JLL, had said in a statement. “With over 200 premium business centres across the country, set to double by 2020, co-working spaces will reflect the global trend of being closer to 20% of the total workspace.”


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 7:36:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/co-working-giant-wework-to-set-up-10-labs-in-india-the-softbank-backed-company-unveiled-wework-labs-in-the-country-that-would-support-startups/article25126316.ece

Next Story