I guess WeWork won’t be able to “elevate the world’s consciousness,” which is what their stated mission was when co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann was in charge. He literally ran the company into the ground with wild spending and weird behavior, but his creation will be able to be an actual functioning business now, thanks to the lifeline extended them Friday.
The long, long, long held plans to go public, which blew up in spectacular fashion in 2019 for Neumann, is finally going to happen.
WeWork announced Friday it is officially merging with a SPAC, BowX Acquisition. The deal will value the company at $9 billion, which is roughly what Neumann used to spend each month on private jet maintenance and caviar.
The company was once valued at $47 billion, which at the time made it one of the most valuable unicorn startups ever. That valuation was as realistic as finding a real unicorn for sale at your local PetSmart store, and once some adults took over the company and weathered the storm by controlling spending and applying successful business practices, the company has emerged in a much better place.
A year ago prospects looked dim for shared office space companies like WeWork, but after a year of working from home people are itching to get back into an office.
WeWork will receive roughly $1.3 billion in cash to fund future growth. Large business account for almost half of WeWork’s companies, up from roughly 10% in 2015.
Current CEO Sandeep Mathrani said in a statement that things are looking up after the Neumann debacle. “WeWork has spent the past year transforming the business and refocusing its core, while simultaneously managing and innovating through a historic downturn. As a result, WeWork has emerged as the global leader in flexible space with a value proposition that is stronger than ever.”
Neumann will walk away with about $500 million in severance. If he wanted to be extremely rich, mission accomplished. He’s also going to be awfully famous too, as Hulu is set to release a documentary in early April that showcases the unfathomable corporate culture and lavish spending that was the norm as Neumann and his wife grew the company.