Backed by investments higher than any of its competitors and catering in the short-term-lease arena are only a few of the reasons that WeWork stands out.
WeWork is a global sensation today for its amazing, modern and groovy atmosphere work-spaces and other services provided within the company model including health insurace and business software.
It is valued at a massive $47 Billion. WeWork has 466,000 members today.
The company started out as an experiment by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKinley with the help of their landlord. The business took off fast and the landlord wanted to expand because of it. But Adam and Miguel decided to sell their share of that company and started their own.
Beginning of WeWork
The first coworking space leased out by WeWork was on the corner of Grand and Lafayette street in New York City. The original office is still under WeWork.
The exposed brick and exposed wiring design which was installed by Miguel is still present at the office. The office is modelled by the design guidelines of a boutique hotel rather than a traditional office making it more appealing.
The office space that started out in 2010 looks a little out-dated. The mix of small companies occupying the space working out of the glass structured space stays the same. Some of them have been tenants since the inception of WeWork.
The company has gone on become the largest tenant in Manhattan and 2nd only to British Goverment in Central London.
Neumann said in 2011, “The last decade has been alll about ‘I’, the next decade is going be about ‘we’.”
Investment and Growth
WeWork has had losses over the years and continues to bleed money as it grows.
The company opened its 200th location in Singapore in the year 2017. Disrupting the commercial space sector has not been an easy task.
The company continues to excel at garnering investors because of Adam’s charisma and motive to change the world we live in.
Softbank became a big time investor in Adam’s dream. Softbank head, Masayoshi Son in 2017 wished to invest $4.4 Billion in the company. Son told Neumann that he planned on making WeWork ten times bigger than the founder had originally planned. Son wanted to scale the business asap.
The SoftBank Head even said that he thought WeWork could be scaled into being worth at least ”a few hundred billion $$”.
SoftBank head and Adam Neumann made deals for later investment, going up to $16 Billion including the $4 Billion promised earlier. The deal was supposed to give the majority share of WeWork to SoftBank group but market turbulence and opposition from investors.
The stock market tanked last Christmas. The company gained $2 Billion in investment from SoftBank later on. $1 Billion of this was direct and $1 Billion was bought from employees and investor.
WeWork WeLive WeGrow
The company has come a long way in its lifetime. From being a glass divided office spaces provider to providing schooling on the third floor of the company headquarters in Chelsea by the name of ‘WeGrow’.
Opened in 2017 as a “conscious, entrepreneurial school committed to unleashing every child’s superpowers.”, we grow also includes Flatiron school, a coding school for adults acquired by the company in 2017.
The head of WeGrow is
The couples motivation behind opening WeGrow was the lack of a proper school for their own children.
WeLive is a third venture started in 2016 by Neumann. This was going to be a bigger business than the workspace business. It was soon realised that the residential space business is more intricate than the workspace business. The expertise in workspace did not translate into living space business.
WeLive had a goal of opening 69 locations by 2018. Currently, WeLive has 2 locations with another one slated to open next year.
The company has been valued a $47Billion, the highest in the industry by all means.
Stacked up against the oldest player in the business – Regus, now IWG – it does not match up in any way.
IWG currently has a humongous 3000 locations but it is valued only at $3 Billion. Why is there a difference of $44Billion between these two?
IWG has 2.5 Million customers while WeWork has only 466,000 against this. IWG is even profitable and has more trending and stylish locations. It is publicly traded as well. The difference, I believe comes in the selling skills of Adam Neumann. An employee has even said that Neumann is worth a billion dollars.
That sets WeWork apart from rest of the workspace industry.