Founders: Adam Neumann (CEO) and Miguel McKelvey
Headquarters: New York City
Funding: $11+ billion
Valuation: $47 billion
Key technologies: Artificial intelligence, Internet of things, machine learning
Industry: Shared work space
If there's any doubt about WeWork's collaborative aspirations, just note the new name: The We Company. Earlier this year the New York City-based unicorn ditched WeWork to focus on a name that better encompasses its three divisions: WeWork, WeLive and, its newest, WeGrow, its first elementary school. The first school is based in New York City and posits the idea that kids learn better when they choose activities that highlight their creativity and curiosity (and their parents fork over as much as $42,000 a year in tuition).
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On the more business-minded side of the company, 2018 was a year of growth. It expanded WeWork to 400,000 members across 400 locations globally. The company also became the largest private occupier of office space in London, Washington, D.C., and New York City. In addition, WeWork's enterprise business increased nearly 200%, representing more than 30% of WeWork's community and more than 30% of the Fortune 500. And WeWork isn't just focusing on shared office space anymore. There are two WeLive residential apartment locations (NYC and D.C.), and in 2017 the company opened its first Rise by We wellness and fitness center in lower Manhattan.
Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey got the idea for WeWork back in 2010 when they were both working in a partially vacant office building in Brooklyn. Neumann was selling baby clothing, and McKelvey was an architect. They convinced the landlord to let them rent out the empty space as shared workspaces, and the idea for WeWork was hatched. In January the company received a $6 billion investment from SoftBank. That brings its total funding to more than $11 billion, giving The We Company a valuation of around $47 billion and fueling more talk of an IPO. The company has been mum on when — or if — that might happen.