Breathing down the neck of WeWork is Knotel, which in 2017 raised a Series A round of $25 million, then another round of $70m, and then another $5m in debt. It says it has one million square feet in New York versus WeWork’s four million.
It’s now pushing out internationally. Last year it acquired Ahoy!Berlin, a workspace operator in Berlin, Germany, after setting up an operation in London.
And today it has announced that it has acquired Deskeo, the largest office space rental operation in Paris, catapulting Knotel to become the biggest operator in the city. It is about 10 times bigger than WeWork in the city, according to Amol Sarva, co-founder and CEO of Knotel.
Sarva told me the company will rebrand as Knotel, with senior management staying on. Numbers for the deal have not been released.
Last year Knotel also acquired 42Floors, a commercial real estate search engine in the US to, according to Sarva, get “access to data and technology on over 10 billion square feet of office space.”
Knotel is building what it calls the Agile HQ platform, a way to rent office space for a few hours or a few months without getting stuck in a lease. It positions itself as different from WeWork in that companies are front and centre in the building rather than the brand of Knotel, unlike WeWork which pushes itself as the main brand.