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The We Company, better known as WeWork, files confidentially for IPO

Key Points
  • The We Company, better known as WeWork, filed confidentially for an IPO.
  • The company did not reveal financial information in the filing, but in a presentation previously shared with CNBC in March, The We Company said it had a net loss of $1.9 billion on $1.8 revenue in 2018, and a net loss of $933 million on $866 million in revenue in 2017.
  • The company joins a growing list of tech firms that have filed to go public this year.
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We Company, known as WeWork, files confidentially for IPO

The We Company, better known as WeWork, filed confidentially for an IPO, the company said in a press release on Monday.

The company did not reveal financial information in the filing. However, in a presentation shared with CNBC in March, The We Company said it had a net loss of $1.9 billion on $1.8 billion in revenue in 2018, and a net loss of $933 million on $886 million in revenue in 2017.

WeWork's business model continues to rely on heavy funding from private investors, namely SoftBank, which has poured over $10 billion into the company, including $2 billion this year. WeWork has to plunge cash into real estate in some of the most expensive markets and makes money back over time as companies and individuals pay their rent, or membership.

The We Company joins a growing class of tech firms filing to go public. Lyft, Pinterest, Zoom and PagerDuty have already gone public this year, and Uber and Slack are both preparing for their own IPOs. The We Company's confidential filing is an amended draft registration statement, according to the release. The company initially filed a draft S-1 confidentially in December, according to a memo from the company's co-founder Adam Neumann obtained by CNBC.

The firm rebranded from the name "WeWork" earlier this year in order to encompass the expanding scope of its plans. WeWork now encompasses the co-working space business with which the firm got its start. The We Company's other business units include WeLive, which provides flexible residential offerings and WeGrow, its education unit.

In the memo to employees Neumann told staff, "We have regularly focused on how to take our business to the next level in every aspect. As part of keeping all options open, we confidentially filed a draft S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December. After a lot of thought, last week we decided to file the first amendment to our submission, which is a step towards allowing us to decide to become a public company."

Here is Neumann's memo to employees:

Hello everyone,

This week I have been celebrating my birthday with family and close friends. It has been an opportunity to reflect on some of the most meaningful moments in my life: growing up in Israel, meeting my wife and partner Rebekah, the birth of my children, and collaborating with Miguel and Rebekah to found WeWork.

From the first day, the goal of our company has always been about making a difference, impacting as many people as possible, and creating a world where people make a life and not just a living. We have regularly focused on how to take our business to the next level in every aspect. As part of keeping all options open, we confidentially filed a draft S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December. After a lot of thought, last week we decided to file the first amendment to our submission, which is a step towards allowing us to decide to become a public company. As partners on this journey, it is important for me to personally share this information with you and again thank you for your collaboration in getting us to this point.

While this process restricts our ability to communicate about this topic, we will do our very best to update you when we can. I do not have an exact date or timeline to share with you, but I wanted you to know first that this process has started.

Partly due to technology and partly due to the times we live in, the world has never felt smaller and yet more people than ever are sharing that they feel alone. As one of the world's largest physical networks, it is our responsibility to help lead the way and set the global example for people and corporations on how we should take care of each other and of our planet.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to our mission.

Sincerely,
Adam

Watch: WeWork's revenue and net losses both doubled in 2018

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WeWork's revenue and net losses both doubled in 2018