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This Week in London Startups - Issue #15, 10th August 2021

This Week in London Startups - Issue #15, 10th August 2021
By London Startup Club • Issue #15 • View online

WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani and Cushman CEO Brett White
WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani and Cushman CEO Brett White
Fallen from grace, WeWork is starting to pick itself back up again one step at a time.
Cushman & Wakefield, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firms, are in talks to form a $150M partnership with WeWork with an SPAC deal finally taking them public after years of turmoil.
A turn of events, as at one stage former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann considered acquiring Cushman & Wakefield.
As we see vaccine rollouts continuing to proceed, and offices returning to work - landlords, investors and governments are desperate to bring back workers yet occupancy rates have been slow to recover.
Many companies have either ditched their offices in favour of remote working or are adopting a hybrid approach meaning they won’t need that big office space they leased for 3 years anymore.
The rise in demand for coworking spaces has been fueled by the backend of COVID-19, as employees simply don’t want or need to be in the office 5 days a week anymore.
Through the partnership, Cushman & Wakefield will market WeWork’s management experience platform to both landlords and businesses to help build demand for flexible workspaces.
Perhaps this is the emergence of a new industry; co-working/hybrid offices as a service?
Definitely, an area to keep an eye on, as we’ve seen similar deals recently with CBRE acquiring a 35% stake in Industrious, a WeWork competitor. And Newmark buying Knotel
Haris Qureshi, Editor & Co-Founder @ London Startup Club
Top News
  • SpaceX is acquiring the small-satellite data provider Swarm Technologies, scooping up the startup’s roughly 30 employees and its network of 120 tiny satellites, more here
  • Apple keeps shutting down employee-run surveys on pay equity - and labor lawyers say it’s illegal, more here
  • Sony completes acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T for $1.18B, more here
  • How Twilio is moving beyond a diversity numbers game toward becoming an anti-racist company, more here
  • TikTok parent Bytedance is reportedly planning to stage an IPO in Hong Kong by early next year, more here
  • Turo, the 11-year-old, San Francisco-based peer-to-peer car-sharing startup, has initiated the confidential process of filing for an IPO with the SEC. More here
  • Pioneer Australian VC AirTree just promoted two women to partners, more here
UK Funding Rounds
  • Sona raises $2.2M for its next-gen employee app dedicated to frontline workers, more here
  • zeroheight raises $10M round led by Tribe Capital to scale DesignOps for UX teams, more here
  • E-scooter startup Voi raises $45M in Series C extension round, operates in 18 cities in UK now, more here
  • Proptech NavigatorCRE eyes UK growth, picks up £12.5M funding, more here
  • London-based Tembo Money bags £2.5M funding for helping first time buyers boost their deposits, more here
  • From Events to Experiences: Announcing Hopin’s $450M Series D, more here
  • Open banking platform Armalytix has raised £1.25 million, more here
  • Rapyd raises $300M on $8.75B valuation as fintech-as-a-service continues to boom, more here
  • Female-led British medtech revolutionising brain surgery gets £1.5M funding boost, more here
  • London startup Juno wants to tackle employee wellbeing crisis in the world, to raise £10M in 2021, more here
International Highlights
  • Cigna, Blue Shield of California back Cricket Health’s $83.5M funding round, more here
  • Data labeling platform Snorkel AI nabs $85M at $1B valuation, more here
  • India’s UpGrad enters unicorn club with $185 million fundraise, more here
  • FreshBooks reaches $1B+ valuation with $130.75M for its SMB-focused accounting platform, more here
  • Turkey’s first decacorn: Trendyol raises $1.5B at a $16.5B valuation, more here
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