Workspace start-up WeWork gets massive $4.4 billion from SoftBank
WeWork, the New York start-up which helped pioneer the concept of shared office spaces and associated services, has now won the vote of confidence from two huge investment groups along with hefty $4.4 billion investment. Japanese telecom and tech giant SoftBank is directly buying a stake in the start-up, while it is also investing indirectly in the company through its Vision Fund.
WeWork CEO "humbled" by SoftBank's investment
"[SoftBank CEO] Masayoshi Son is a visionary business leader and we are humbled by this strong endorsement of our mission and purpose," said WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann, acknowledging SoftBank's contribution.
A brief history of WeWork
WeWork was founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel Mckelvey, in 2010. The company designs and provides both physical and virtual office spaces where entrepreneurs can share space, services, and can even collaborate and work together. With over 2000 employees and 150,000+ members, what separates WeWork from simple leasing companies is its community which shares an internal social network, events, retreats etc.
WeWork's growth story
WeWork has grown phenomenally in these seven years. It now provides office spaces in over 160 locations across 16 countries and is worth near $20 billion. In 2016, it launched a separate entity called WeLive, which seeks to bring the same shared space format in housing.
SoftBank's growing investment in WeWork
SoftBank had earlier invested $300 million in WeWork in March, hinting at bigger investments to come. Then the Japanese giant had announced a $1.4 billion investment in WeWork to fund the start-up's Asian expansion. Now, SoftBank has announced that it will buy a stake worth $3 billion in WeWork through a primary investment as well as secondary purchase of existing shares.