RALEIGH — Less than three months after SoftBank wired over $1.5 billion to bailout the embattled WeWork, the co-working space giant is maintaining that it’s business as usual — for now.
Despite a round of layoffs at its headquarters in New York – believed to be in the thousands – WRAL TechWire understands that there were no reports of layoffs at any of its six sites scattered around Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh.
“Raleigh, Durham, and the larger RTP area will continue to be an important market for WeWork,” a WeWork spokesperson said this week.
“With new companies steadily moving to the region and local businesses seeing tremendous growth, WeWork is fully focused on strengthening our core business here and serving our growing community.”
In other parts of the country, however, some of WeWork’s smaller rivals are also feeling the crunch. Earlier this week, Knotel confirmed layoffs following a report in The Real Deal that it was shedding up to a third of its New York employees.
Pitchbook reported the company declined to publicly confirm exact figures but said the number of employees affected was far less than a third of the staff.
Knotel’s lease activity dropped roughly 80 percent in Q4 2019 to just 67,186 square feet during the quarter — its lowest level in two year — according to data from commercial real estate firm CBRE.
But what about other co-working spaces in the Triangle?
HQ Raleigh recently released its annual report highlighting a 45 percent hike in its membership — jumping from 663 members from 248 companies in 2018 to 932 members from 360 companies in 2019.
Durham’s American Underground (AU) also painted a similar rosy picture with membership hovering around 1,662 — up from 865 (before it offered virtual membership). Even more impressive, companies headquartered there raised around $79.2 million last year alone.That’s up from $40.9 million from the year before – a 93.6 percent hike.
Startups, emerging companies and others can now select from some 20 co-working space providers across the Triangle. Here’s a snapshot of how others are fairing in this competitive market: