WeWork, the leading global flexible space provider, today announced a franchise partnership with SiSebenza, a pan-African real estate investor, giving SiSebenza the exclusive right to operate WeWork’s existing locations in South Africa. The deal also grants SiSebenza exclusive rights to grow and operate the WeWork franchise in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and Nigeria.
The franchise partnership combines the strength of WeWork’s brand and product with SiSebenza’s proven local operating expertise. WeWork opened its first South Africa location in 2019 at WeWork The Link in Rosebank, Johannesburg, followed by WeWork 80 Strand in Cape Town and WeWork 155 West Street in Sandton, Johannesburg. WeWork has since seen strong demand from companies seeking flexible space solutions – this partnership will power growth and unlock the significant market opportunity in the region.
Sandeep Mathrani, CEO and Chairman, WeWork said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued progress in pursuing asset-light growth where local capital and expertise strengthen our business. With its in-depth understanding of the market, SiSebenza will build on WeWork’s success in South Africa and power its growth across the continent. This partnership enables us to simultaneously meet the growing demand for more flexible space solutions whilst further strengthening our underlying business.”
As companies continue to adapt to a new world of work, businesses are increasingly looking to incorporate co-working, flexible and shared office spaces into their operating models. Particularly against the backdrop of an uncertain economic environment, WeWork’s flexible products provide employers with an alternative to the long-term, fixed costs of traditional office space while also offering employees – from freelancers to large enterprises – an environment for enhanced employee engagement and collaboration. SiSebenza has on-the-ground real estate experience and knowledge from across the African continent so is well placed to expand WeWork’s South African footprint and drive its entrance into the wider African market.
“SiSebenza has collaborated with WeWork in South Africa for five years. We’re excited to now be their partner for the African continent and build the business into Africa’s market leader,” said SiSebenza founder Andrew Robinson. “SiSebenza knows Africa well. We have a long track record of doing business across the continent and understand that each of its countries operate differently. We are excited to be the team that brings new and inspiring workspaces to Africa that meet each geography’s unique needs and wants.”
WeWork offers members of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, private office space and suites, as well as space for members using WeWork All Access, the company’s subscription membership that provides access to hundreds of WeWork locations across the globe, and WeWork On Demand, which offers pay-as-you go access to workspaces and meeting rooms in nearly 320 locations globally. WeWork’s space management solution, WeWork Workplace, provides companies with a universal platform that enables inventory management across office spaces, enhanced employee experiences and space optimization through insights and analytics.