MENA-based Coworking platform Letswork takes its first steps in the European markets by acquiring its Portuguese counterpart and in doing so accessing valuable markets in Portugal and Spain.
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UAE-based and MENA covering PropTech and coworking spaces platform Letswork, has announced the successful acquisition of its Portuguese counterpart Krow to expand its market reach beyond the region. The acquisition marks Letswork’s first steps into Europe and comes at a time when the startup is looking at expansion opportunities in the growing Future of Work sector. As a part of the deal, Krow’s founders, Paulo Palha and Joana Balaguer, will join Letswork as Country Managers for Spain and Portugal respectively.
Founded in 2019 by Omar Almheiri and Hamza Khan, Letswork enables users to work from a network of coworking spaces, hotels, and cafes across the globe via a single membership. Users can also rent meeting rooms, offices, and creative spaces via the on-demand booking platform. The platform has partnered with over 150 spaces across the UAE and Bahrain, with over 30,000 members from freelancers to remote-working corporations.
Even though Real Estate did not make it to the top 10 industries across EVMs recorded in our Startup Funding- 2022 Emerging Venture Markets Free Report, VC investments in PropTech have been allocated rather smartly, especially in geographies like the UAE. The 93% YoY growth in VC funding the UAE has observed over 2021 has trickled down to most Tech industries including PropTech. With a general investor tendency towards larger funding rounds, where for the first time later-stage deal ($10M- $100M) share of total transactions crossed the 10% mark as recorded in our UAE 2022 Venture Investment Report, the Real Estate industry observed a 400% YoY growth in funding despite closing 1 less deal in 2021 than the full year 2020. In the UAE, two trends were found atop investor portfolios in 2021, on one hand, investors backed the digital disruption of traditional real estate investment with startups like Stake and digital visualizer XPLOR. On the other, investors backed PropTech startups disrupting real estate by introducing it to the shared economy with access-over-ownership startups like coworking platform HotDesk and on-demand short-rental platform Short Stay Vacation Homes.
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The company had recently raised an undisclosed sum from Silicon Valley-based 500 Global, Saudi Arabia-based Sanabil Investments, and other angel investors. It was also one of three startups to launch out of Emaar Properties’ E25 entrepreneurship program. The company counts Hilton, Marriott, Accor, and Emaar Hospitality Group, as its clients amongst others. Commenting on this acquisition, without disclosing any financial details of the deal, Hamza Khan, Co-Founder/CEO of Letswork stated, “As remote working becomes a permanent part of people’s lives, Letswork has been successful in building a loyal customer base in the UAE. We can’t wait to replicate this success in new markets under the leadership of Paulo and Joana,” Krow co-founder and the new Letswork country manager Paulo Palha added, “We are very happy to join Letswork’s team. Krow has always believed in working together with the right partners and the acquisition has given us a chance to be a part of a much bigger family with the same vision.”
In 2021, Letswork had launched the world’s first integrated booking platform for hotel meeting rooms. This SaaS solution enables hotels to provide real-time availability, control, and intelligence across their meeting and business centre facilities to customers looking for short-term workspace solutions. Letswork aims to add as many as 1,000 spaces across its network by the end of 2022. It further said that the company is actively looking at other markets in a bid to strengthen its product and international presence. “Being one of the first Emirati-founded tech startups to expand globally is a major milestone,” said Omar Almheiri, co-founder and CTO of Letswork. “We’re excited to be flagbearers of the UAE across Europe and beyond.”
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