WeWork rival RocketSpace to shut down UK business

Matthew Field
RocketSpace is due to shut its UK business which had an office in Islington - RocketSpace

A rival to WeWork is to shut its British office space renting business, putting employees out of work before Christmas.

RocketSpace, a San Francisco-based shared office company that lets space to companies, freelancers and start-ups, will close its UK operation in April, laying off a number of its UK workforce.

The company operated a 1,500-seat shared office in Islington in North London. RocketSpace made a splash in 2017 with its launch into the UK market, working with Royal Bank of Scotland to mark its first international expansion.

Founded in 2010, RocketSpace has provided offices for high-profile technology firms such as Uber and Sweden's Spotify.

The London office was set up in RBS Regents House and was hailed by RocketSpace chief executive Duncan Logan as "critical to our expansion strategy and mission to build an ecosystem for innovation to thrive".

According to Companies House filings, RocketSpace Angel and RocketSpace UK, its London subsidiaries, will shut down as of April next year. Bloomberg reported that current RocketSpace UK employees were told in October they would be out of work by December 20.

There are around six London-based RocketSpace staff, according to LinkedIn, and a number of workers have left in recent months.

The shut down comes as another blow to the shared office sector as WeWork staff prepare for massive layoffs following the company's abandoned float in September.

WeWork was rescued by Japanese technology investor SoftBank in October, but is due to cut as many as 4,000 staff globally.

UK WeWork employees were informed of job cuts to their offices in November.

The firm saw its valuation slashed in the rescue deal. Having planned to raise at a $47bn (£36bn) in its prospective float, it was worth just $8bn following its bailout by SoftBank.