WeWork is going public via a SPAC

WeWork plans to go public at a ~$9B valuation. While it’s a big decline from its peak $47B price tag, the co-working startup could be well-placed for the post-pandemic world.


March 29, 2021

Getty Images / Michael Kovac)

Well, this is embarrassing.

A few months ago — in the middle of the special purpose acquisition (SPAC) craze — we said that if WeWork went public via a SPAC, we would shut down.

Oops.

WeWork announced plans to go public

It will do so in a merger with BowX Acquisition, a SPAC backed by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.

According to CNBC, the deal will value the coworking startup — which mainly leases office space and rents it out in smaller parcels — at $9B, including debt.

This is a slight haircut from its $47B valuation in fall 2019 when full of BS charismatic founder Adam Neumann was burning billions of dollars from SoftBank.

For SoftBank, which put $10B+ into WeWork, it’s a somewhat miraculous save.

At its bubbliest valuation…

WeWork convinced the world it was a tech company. Under the leadership of CEO Sandeep Mathrani, it’s now just an office rental play.

Among the highlights from WeWork’s announcement:

  • The company dropped or amended leases for 200+ locations (today, it has 851 locations in 152 cities).
  • It shifted its focus to enterprise companies, which now make up >50% of the client base (up from 10% in 2015).
  • It survived 2020 with revenues of $3.2B (unchanged from 2019) even as the world went remote.

The company is still billions in the red. But with the world slowly moving back to a hybrid work arrangement, its plug-and-play office space offering is well-positioned to bounce back.

As for The Hustle, we are not going anywhere. If we left, who would be around for Adam Neumann’s next crazy venture?

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