Last week, the We Company filed its S-1 paperwork ahead of its highly anticipated initial public offering.
We have filed as a technology company, leaving many scratching their heads, as the word “technology” was featured 110 times in the S-1. The firm operates by signing long-term leases with landlords, then subleasing them out to companies, freelancers, and other professionals on a short-term basis.
While the company certainly has a large team of engineers, IT specialists, and designers, this is the case for many companies. So where is the line between technology companies and other industries?
In addition to its coworking branch WeWork, the We Company has also delved into the educational world with WeGrow and co-living developments with WeLive. The firm has also invested and acquired numerous technology companies — most likely to strengthen their tech company claim.
At the head of this is CEO Adam Neumann, who appears to be the biggest risk factor to the company. Neumann has “the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval,” which includes the election of the company’s directors.
For example, investors and other industry analysts simultaneously clenched their teeth when it was revealed that Neumann had been leasing out buildings he owns to the We Company. Now, he is reportedly selling the properties according to The Wall Street Journal.
Overall, it is untelling how the company will do in what will be the second largest IPO this year, but the road getting here has been nothing less than fascinating.