WeWork began as a startup focused on renting out offices on flexible leases, but as they’ve grown, co-founders Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann plan to expand even further.
So far, the company has launched a private school called WeGrow and a physical store called WeMrkt in New York City, but they have much more in store with the hopes of growing full WeWork communities.
In 2018, WeWork surpassed JPMorgan has the biggest occupier of space in Manhattan with 5.3 million square meters compared to the finance firm’s 5.2 million square meters.
The company has seen a major spike in membership just in the past year, reporting 268,000 members in 268 locations this year as opposed to 150,000 in 172 locations from the previous year.
“As our business has grown, both our membership and service offerings have diversified,” a company spokesperson told Inc. “We’re also continuing to see the profile of our membership base change in positive ways, including longer deal terms, larger deals and large global accounts.”
The company has raised over $7 billion from Japan’s SoftBank and has more than doubled its revenue in the first six months of 2018. Despite this, WeWork still posted a loss of $723 million during the first half of the year.
WeWork has seen numerous challenges since its founding, with a publicized cleaning staff strike back in 2015 and sexual assault accusations this year.
Ruby Anaya, a former director of culture in New York, filed a lawsuit against the company stating she was sexually assaulted at two different WeWork events. The company claimed her accusations were “meritless” and proceeded to fire her due to “poor performance.”
Critics have posed that WeWork’s business model is flawed due to having so much exposure to real estate and ,due to market downturn, could force its startups to end their leases. It still holds that their major client base is mainly large corporations.
“Today, businesses with more than 1,000 employees account for more than 25 percent of WeWork’s total membership,” according to Inc. “Large enterprise clients like IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce now represent the fastest growing segment of members.”