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SoftBank considering multi-billion dollar WeWork investment

Japanese firm would shell out $2B in first round, second investment could be $2B or more
February 27, 2017 11:30AM

Adam Neumann and Masayoshi Son

From the New York website: Japanese telecom giant SoftBank is getting ready to invest more than $3 billion in WeWork, a deal that could value the shared-workspace provider at more than $20 billion.

The investment would come in form of an initial $2 billion of funding, followed by another round worth more than $1 billion, CNBC reported.

SoftBank could increase the second round to more than $2 billion, a source told CNBC, bringing the total investment to nearly $4 billion.

A spokesperson for WeWork would not confirm the details of the deal, and a representative for SoftBank did not immediately comment.

WeWork is already valued at roughly $17 billion, and over the past two years has raised more than $1 billion from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Benchmark and China-based Hony Capital.

WeWork is transforming its business structure from a typical tech startup to a more corporate form. Earlier this year the company hired the former president of entertainment center Brooklyn Bowl and a former Starwood Property executive to key positions.

The company is considering launching a real estate investment fund, and in July CEO Adam Neumann said WeWork is considering an IPO, but did not give a specific date.

Masayoshi Son, the Japanese billionaire who controls SoftBank, told President Donald Trump in December that he would invest $50 billion in the United States. [CNBC]Rich Bockmann