For Masayoshi Son, the boss of SoftBank, there is no shadow of a doubt: WeWork will be the “next Alibaba“. To make this ambition a reality, the Japanese giant is not skimping on the means to grow the American coworking specialist. Proof of this is the new $ 3 billion investment WeWork obtained from SoftBank. This was carried out with the group itself, and not with the Vision Fund of the Japanese giant, an XXL technological fund of 93 billion dollars. Apple-converted-space “>
With this transaction, SoftBank confirms its growing interest in WeWork, a New York-based company in which the Japanese group had already invested $ 4.4 billion in the summer of 2017. Part of this sum, $ 1.4 billion, was dedicated to the development of WeWork in China, Japan and Southeast Asia. A flourishing market from which many local players want to take advantage, starting with the Chinese Ucommune, holding more than 200 coworking spaces, mainly in China, which has just raised $ 200 million to be present in 350 cities in 40 countries and thus compete with WeWork on a global scale. In addition, the American start-up was also supported by SoftBank in August with an investment of one billion dollars in the form of convertible debt. In total, the Japanese juggernaut has injected 8.4 billion dollars into the American group.
Founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork is still looking for a model that will allow it to balance its financial balance. And for good reason, the American company is weighed down by very expensive rental contracts. WeWork has committed to paying $ 18 billion in rents over the next few years for the buildings the company currently rents around the world, including $ 5 billion over the next four years, hence the need to raise funds so as not to run out of cash.