WeWork’s side businesses are fizzling

Side ventures including WeLive and Powered by We have struggled to expand

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

When WeWork rebranded itself The We Company in January, CEO Adam Nuemann sent a clear message about his vision for the firm: it is much bigger than co-working.

But We Company’s side businesses, including co-living venture WeLive, have a patchy track record of success, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some are struggling to survive while others have fizzled out altogether.

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The company spent about $164 million on side businesses in 2018 but it earned only $124 million in revenue from all its outside ventures, according to the Journal.

The news follows weeks of scrutiny over We Company’s business model, corporate governance and valuation. The faltering path to expansion has caused perception problems for the firm as it heads into its initial public offering — which has been pushed back — and seeks to convince investors it’s bigger than the co-working brand.

But even as We Company continued to diversify, four acquisitions made between 2017 and 2018 — valued at some $400 million — garnered little mention in the company’s IPO prospectus. [WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan

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