EMAILED ON November 29, 2017 BY Lindsey Quinn

WeWork buys Meetup to keep bringing people together IRL

WeWork doubled down on their bet that in a digital age, we still crave face time (like, in-person contact, not iPhone video chats), with the acquisition of Meetup, a site that allows people with similar interests to “meetup” in real life.

With a speculated $200m price tag (financial terms yet to be disclosed), the purchase is their latest in a slew of new community-minded initiatives and acquisitions aimed at replacing the sense of community lost in the digital age.

Meanwhile, Meetup’s ready for the big leagues

Since their inception in 2002, Meetup’s raised relatively little funding ($18m compared with their reported $200m valuation), and according to CEO and co-founder Scott Heiferman, they’ve broken even in the past few years despite not raising any additional capital since ‘08.

But they’re not satisfied with scraping by anymore. WeWork’s global presence would help promote Meetup abroad and give organizers a more legitimate space to host group meetups, replacing, as Heiferman says, the “musty church basements” of yore.

On WeWork’s part, Meetup is another platform to help people “connect to their purpose…”

And make big bucks off their users

Meetup has about 35m members, and the lowest tier WeWork membership (a “Hot desk” for $220 per month) costs around $2,640.

That means even if WeWork manages to convert 1% of Meetup members to their cheapest membership, they’re set to make about $9.24m off the deal.