- Adam Neumann’s latest company Flow already has a $1 billion valuation.
- The startup is initially planning to operate 3,000 apartment units across Nashville, Tenn., Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Atlanta.
- Flow will reportedly offer a unique twist on coworking spaces with a rumored value sharing mechanism likely in the form of some type of “fractional ownership” to be awarded to value creators at company properties.
Flow stands out with an asterisk among the growing list of new U.S.-based coworking ventures that are expected to enter the market in 2023.
The new company has been turning the heads of industry experts in the field, not only because of a reported $350 million investment that was made last year by venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz (a16z), but also because of who is at the helm: Adam Neumann.
Neumann, the ousted founder of WeWork, made headlines this month while speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference in Deer Valley, Utah. The 44-year-old entrepreneur stated that his new company, Flow, which has a $1 billion valuation “has only two choices: compete, or partner” with WeWork, according to Fortune.
Flow was founded in 2022, nearly three years after Neumann was relieved from the helm of the coworking giant that he also helped establish. Flow is a collection of apartment buildings designed with a community-first focus. While details are still scarce, Fortune reports that it plans to offer a unique twist on coworking spaces with a rumored value sharing mechanism likely in the form of some type of “fractional ownership” to be awarded to value creators at company properties.
Neumann’s Flow is a technology-based asset management company that owns and operates its own buildings. The startup is initially planning to manage 3,000 apartment units across Nashville, Atlanta, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, according to Bloomberg.
Neumann was ousted from WeWork in 2019 following a failed initial public offering (IPO) attempt. Since then, WeWork has encountered many other challenges, including leadership resignations and a stock value plummet, which led the company to face the serious possibility of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
“It seems strange that Adam would be challenging WeWork with ‘competition’ as he had run the company into the ground and damaged countless investors and property companies,” said Frank Cottle, Chairman & CEO of Alliance Business Centers Companies. “So, I wonder what competing with them or cooperating with them could possibly do him or them any good or harm. Basically, I’m sure Flow is a valid concept, but Adam should demonstrate his ability to turn a profit before making noise about how he might deal with his ex-company that he was not so politely asked to leave.”
The comments made by Neumann leave room open for interpretation. It was previously reported by the New York Times that Neumann had approached CEO Sandeep Mathrani before Mathrani announced that he was stepping down from WeWork. It was reported that they discussed a potential investment and debt buyback of the company. However, the negotiations did not come to fruition and Mathrani decided to pursue debt restructuring as an alternative course of action.
Neumann’s decision to re-enter the real estate industry with a new company and new investors could cause a big shake-up in the industry. Neumann’s bold claims at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference might influence investors within the industry and will likely cause waves in the coworking and CRE industries.