WeWork is changing its name to 'The We Company' as SoftBank invests $2 billion
- WeWork, the startup operating coworking spaces in more than 25 countries, is rebranding to The We Company.
- The rebrand is part of the company's goal to push beyond providing desk space and into creating residential and educational units as well.
- The announcement comes after news that SoftBank, the company's biggest investor, reneged on plans to invest an additional $16 billion, and would instead invest just $2 billion in 2019.
Coworking startup WeWork is rebranding itself ahead of plans to further expand its business outside of commercial office workspaces.Adam Neumann to expand the company "to encompass all aspects of people's lives, in both physical and digital worlds," according to Fast Company.
As of now, Neumann's company provides commercial spaces, in almost 100 cities in more than 25 countries, for businesses to rent out and employees to use as office space. But under the new brand as The We Company, the startup will be comprised of three business units.
Beyond the existing WeWork entity, the new model comprises the spinoffs WeLive and WeGrow. WeLive runs community-oriented co-living "hacker houses" in New York and Arlington, Virginia. WeGrow is more education-focused. WeGrow opened its first school in fall 2018, an elementary school with a focus on entrepreneurship that operates out of a WeWork space in New York City.
Fast Company's report of the company rebranding comes a day after reports surfaced that WeWork would not receive an expected $16 billion investment. The wide-reaching Japanese investment firm SoftBank had reportedly planned to invest an additional $16 billion into WeWork, on top of the $8 billion it previously put into the startup.
But the deal fell through in the face of pushback from SoftBank's government-backed investors in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, the Wall Street Journal reported. Investors called into question The We Company's money-losing year in 2018.The $16 billion investment would have given SoftBank a majority stake in the startup. Instead, SoftBank will invest just $2 billion more, which will put The We Company at a $47 billion valuation.