Knotel trolls WeWork by parking bus outside its HQ

Startups compete in flex office space industry

From left: Amol Sarva and Adam Neumann
From left: Amol Sarva and Adam Neumann

Is it a school bus? Is it a prison bus? No, it’s a flexible office space startup trying to mess with its $20 billion rival.

Several WeWork members and employees had a strange encounter on Friday, when a gray bus advertising rival office space provider Knotel parked outside the company’s Headquarters On West 18th Street.

“Graduate from coworking” read the ad on the side of the bus.

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Like WeWork, Knotel offers serviced office space on a flexible lease, but it doesn’t cater to freelancers or entrepreneurs in search of a single desk and doesn’t refer to itself as a co-working company.

In February, Knotel raised $25 million in venture funding. “We intend to build a vast global enterprise,” the company’s founder Amol Sarva said at the time.

WeWork has similar ambitions, but a lot more money. It recently raised $4.4 billion from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank at a reported $20 billion valuation.

A source told TRD that the bus left after about an hour. It wasn’t clear whether any WeWork members boarded it.