Eight stats tell the tale of Adam Neumann’s rise, fall, and return

WeWork’s ousted founder is investing $30M in Alfred. Here’s a look at his wins and losses.

National Issue /
Oct.October 23, 2020 12:00 PM

Alfred CEO Marcela Sapone and Adam Neumann

Adam Neumann is back.

In his first venture since leaving WeWork last year, the eccentric and brash Israeli entrepreneur is investing $30 million in Alfred, a “future of living” startup that provides apartment services such as dog walking, maintenance and rent processing, according to Bloomberg.

Neumann’s family investment office raised a reported $42 million for Alfred in a recent funding round. The startup, which services more than 100,000 apartments, has raised $100 million to date, including investments from Spark Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Greystar, one of the largest apartment owners in the country.

Neumann had been avoiding the spotlight since being pushed out of WeWork, which he co-founded with Miguel McKelvey in 2010. And with good reason: Over the past 15 months or so, Neumann has seen a reported 97 percent of his net worth evaporate.

After the co-working giant halted its IPO plans last year, its board sent Neumann on his way with what seemed like a hefty severance package and brought on mall industry veteran Sandeep Mathrani to overhaul its operations and senior management.

WeWork has taken cost-cutting measures during the pandemic, including divesting its China division and slashing 8,000 jobs. It’s also contending with a glut of availability in New York City. The company’s chairman, Marcelo Claure, has said WeWork is on track to be profitable in 2021.

While Neumann has been trying to forge a new path in the real estate world, he’s also been trying to salvage some of the riches that once defined him as WeWork. His success in that endeavor will depend on the outcome of litigation with SoftBank, the primary investor in WeWork, which is trying to reduce the cost of the exit package Neumann negotiated.

Here are some of the numbers that define Neumann’s successes and flops over the years.

$5.9M

Alleged payment to Neumann during his time as WeWork’s CEO for giving the company the right to use the word “We.” He and his cohorts also reportedly borrowed millions of dollars from the co-working company before it nearly imploded and overhauled its C-suite.

110 Wall Street

TWO

Number of buildings in which WeLive, Neumann’s previous concept for providing services to apartment dwellers, has been implemented since its 2016 launch: 110 Wall Street in New York City and a second site in Arlington, Virginia. Plans for locations in India and Israel fell apart.

$12B

Funding Neumann reportedly raised to scale WeWork after opening the co-working company’s first workspace in Soho in 2010. In total, the company has received more than $18.5 billion from SoftBank, the investing giant’s chairman told employees in a recording obtained by Recode.

FIVE

Homes purchased by Neumann, for a reported $80 million, since 2013. Four were in and around New York City. The fifth, in the Bay Area, spanned 13,000 square feet and cost him $21.4 million in 2018. He listed it this summer for $27.5 million.

Years before WeWork would be profitable, according to the IPO application Neumann submitted. The prospect of losses as far as the eye could see disillusioned potential investors, contributing to the withdrawal of WeWork’s plan to go public.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son

$1.7B
Amount Neumann could have reaped from the golden parachute he negotiated from SoftBank in exchange for exiting the tailspinning company he founded. But $500 million was a loan and $1 billion was for some of Neumann’s equity stake, which soon plummeted in value.

94%
Drop in WeWork’s valuation — from a peak of $47 billion to less than $3 billion within a year, according to SoftBank. Companies that WeWork had snapped up have seen their windfalls shrivel as the value of the WeWork shares in those acquisitions withered away.

SIX

Months since Neumann lost his billionaire status, just a year after his net worth was calculated at a lofty $14 billion. Most of the drop stemmed from the collapse of WeWork’s valuation, but what knocked Neumann out of 10-figure territory was SoftBank’s cancellation of a plan to buy WeWork shares for $19.19 apiece, which would have netted Neumann as much as $970 million.


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