In 2015, WeWork’s coliving division seemed to be in the early stages of what could be a promising addition to the company’s brand.
At this time, WeWork estimated that WeLive would grow from its two locations in New York and Arlington to cover 10.4 million square feet by 2018.
Aside from a new Seattle location expected to open next year, WeLive has since become stagnant.
It seems that WeLive is an outlier in the industry, as several other coliving companies like The Collective and Ollie are experiencing a boom.
“Google searches for the term ‘coliving’ look eerily similar to both the number and the exponential trajectory of ‘coworking’ searches six years earlier, implying a long runway of demand lies ahead for coliving,” said Chris Bledsoe, Ollie’s CEO and co-founder.
WeWork’s model is based off renovating old office buildings and turning them into a modern workspaces, which it has attempted to apply to WeLive as well. But coworking and co-living are quite different in that it is much easier to build cool offices in old office buildings rather than cool apartments.
Additionally, WeWork is known for rapidly expanding its footprint across the globe, but it is practically impossible to apply the same method to coliving spaces. So it may make sense that the company is simply focusing its efforts on the brand that brings more to the table.
Regardless, if WeWork wants to be a valuable player in the coliving industry, it has let competitors have a huge head start.