As a private company, WeWork has always kept its numbers close to its chest, leaving the rest of us guessing how much — or how little — money it makes and whether that justifies a $20 billion valuation. But all that changed this week, when the co-working company filed to issue $500 million in bonds.
The bond documents offer a rare glimpse of WeWork’s financial performance. First, the good news: the company doubled its revenues to $866 million in 2017 and the average cost of building out its spaces fell by 22 percent to $5,631, the Wall Street Journal reported. WeWork held $2 billion in cash at the end of 2017.
But the company also more than doubled its losses to a staggering $933 million. The average revenue it makes per customer fell by 6.2 percent to $6,928 as the company offers more discounts, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, WeWork has $18 billion in lease obligations, including $5 billion due by 2022, but the offering claims WeWork guarantees only 6 to 12 months rent on average for a 15-year lease.
Despite having raised billions in venture funding, co-founder Adam Neumann owns 75 percent of Class B common stock, giving him 65 percent of the vote over the company’s fate.
Over the past two years, WeWork paid $9.8 million in rent for buildings in which “Adam Neumann and certain of his immediate family members hold ownership interests,” according to the documents. The Real Deal previously reported that Neumann owns a stake in 88 University Place, where WeWork is a tenant. [WSJ] and [Bloomberg] — Konrad Putzier