WeWork unveils its IPO prospectus

FAR FROM the soulless corporate offices of midtown Manhattan is a door in Greenwich Village wedged between a rowdy saloon and a burrito joint. The steady stream of hipsters and fashionistas passing in front of it is punctuated by professionals in “business casual” outfits with computer tote bags. Inside are stylish workspaces offering fruit-infused water and nitro coffee on tap. In one animated meeting, participants are sitting on beanbags and the floor. That would never happen at his firm’s conservative headquarters, says an executive at the technology giant that has leased this co-working space: “Younger workers want a more casual place to work, and WeWork helps us with recruitment and retention.”

The We Company (WeWork’s parent), a nine-year-old privately held firm, is controversial. The company’s chic co-working spaces and its flamboyant boss, Adam Neumann, clearly inspire passion among many customers and workers. Japan’s SoftBank has invested over $10bn in the firm, boosting its valuation to $47bn. Equally passionate are its critics, who argue that the firm is worth nothing like that kind of money. They point to IWG, which offers shared offices under the Regus and Spaces brands worldwide and which has a market capitalisation of just $4.5bn (see chart).

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via Business Feeds

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