WeWork now valued at $45B after another SoftBank infusion

The flexible office startup announced the Japanese firm would invest $3B

Adam Neumann and Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
Adam Neumann and Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

WeWork is now valued at $45 billion after securing a $3 billion investment from SoftBank, making it the second most valuable U.S. startup.

The flexible office provider announced Tuesday in a quarterly earnings report that it had received a warrant from the Japanese megafund to take the stake in the first months of 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report follows news last month that SoftBank was considering spending up to $20 billion for a majority stake in the startup. It is unclear if the latest announcement is a part in that larger sum.

SoftBank’s nearly $100 billion Vision Fund — which has significant backing from Saudi Arabia — invested $4.4 billion in WeWork last year, one of the largest investments in a U.S. startup.

With its latest valuation, WeWork has now overtaken Airbnb as the world’s second most valued startup, but remains behind Uber, which is valued at close to $60 billion.

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In its earnings, WeWork reported that its revenue in the first three quarters of the year totaled $1.2 billion, roughly double 12 months earlier. Adjusting earnings — which doesn’t include interest payments and adjustments for rent incentives — showed a $415 million loss over the same period. That’s four times the $108 million reported a year earlier, but the company said it was expected as it plans to launch 100,000 new desks by the end of the year. The company did not report net loss.

Since WeWork’s launch in 2010, the office-space provider has grown to supply more than 265,000 desks in almost 300 buildings across the world. In September, the company announced it had become the largest office leaseholder in Manhattan with over 5 million square feet.

It has now claimed that title in London and Washington D.C.

In its November issue, The Real Deal examined the explosion of co-working companies, and the scramble to secure office space. As the companies have expanded, the client base has shifted from freelancers and small startups to large blue-chip corporations, the report found. [WSJ] — David Jeans