Coworking and flexible office space has become a hot business in the last few years, as attested by the rise and rise of WeWork. Startups and entrepreneurs needed flexible working space that could flex up and down as their companies changed. The days of signing a 5-year lease were very, very over. But others have arrived in this office space arena. In the US, the company beginning to breathe down the neck of WeWork is Knotel, which last year raised a Series A round of $25 million, then another round of $70m, and then another $5m in debt (not previously announced). It now claims it has one million square feet in NYC versus WeWork’s four million, achieved in the last 2 years.
It’s now pushing out internationally, with the acquisition today of Ahoy!Berlin, a workspace operator in Berlin, Germany. The deal follows Knotel’s expansion in Europe – first in London, in the first quarter of 2018.
Amol Sarva, co-founder and CEO of Knotel said in a statement: “Many innovative CEOs have been making Berlin their HQ. Now they have the first of many agile offices to locate and achieve their ambitions.”
Ahoy is in Berlin’s historic Mitte district and has clients such as Daimler-backed Fleetboard Innovation Hub, and Bringmeister, an online food and home delivery service.
Ahoy was co-founded in 2012 by Nikita Roshkow and Nikolas Woischnik, who previously launched the entrepreneurship community TechBerlin. Woischnik also cofounded the 20,000 person tech event Tech Open Air Berlin, on this week.
“We’re thrilled to join up with Knotel and expand deeper in Berlin and beyond,” said Roshkow. “What they’ve achieved in a short period, combined with our local expertise, is a signal for growth.”