New York (AFP)
WeWork, the company that has launched a revolution in shared office space, is getting closer to Wall Street and has, in its IPOs, the image of a company that is growing fast, but also continues to lose. a lot of money.
Its parent company, The We Company, filed Wednesday with the US Securities and Markets Officer documents detailing his plan to solicit investors on the New York Stock Exchange.
Contacted by AFP, she did not want to indicate when she planned to take the plunge, nor the amount she wanted to lift. According to some media, We Company targets between 3 and 4 billion dollars.
The company, which plans to be listed under the symbol WE, has confirmed its strong growth from time to time: its revenues quadrupled between 2016 and 2018, reaching $ 1.8 billion.
But this forced development was not cheap, the group also lost $ 1.9 billion last year.
We Company insists, however, to present these losses as investments necessary for its expansion. And highlights the credit line of $ 6 billion granted in August by several major international banks.
In the first six months of the year, the net loss was $ 904 million, but its revenue, at $ 1.54 billion, had accelerated further.
- 29 countries -
The value of the company, born in 2010 in New York, is currently estimated at about $ 47 billion, based on the latest private fundraising.
With its free coffees, sofas and glass partitions, the group is the most emblematic example of "coworking" that appeared in the 1990s and has become one of the major trends in office real estate over the past decade.
When WeWork launches in 2010, it takes advantage of new technologies that make it possible to work from anywhere, and the financial crisis that forced many finance and creative licensees to start their own businesses.
The group now has 527,000 members and manages 528 sites in 111 cities across 29 countries. Often whole floors that it modulates between private offices, common areas and individual cabins, landscaping, and sublets. More than half of its revenue is generated outside the United States.
- Risk in case of recession -
In the premises, all the stewardship is taken care of, from the Internet connection to the printer through the household.
So many services that allow it to sublet, more expensive, companies or independent workers, attracted by the flexibility of "coworking" to escape the long-term lease.
And the decor, a mix of bright colors, industrial design and pastel fabrics, attracts the "millenials", the young generation 18 to 35 years.
The largest companies, like Microsoft, HSBC or Facebook, also let themselves be seduced. Companies with over 500 employees now represent 40% of WeWork members.
The rise of the company is not always welcome, as some owners are reluctant to rent to WeWork as they rent themselves in the relatively short term. In case of recession, they think, the premises will empty quickly.
WeWork, which has invested in other sectors such as apartment rental and education, is also known to have developed an accounting presentation of its performance in a flattering light.
And the financial maneuvers of his manager Adam Neumann sometimes cringe, as when he personally invests in real estate and then rent to WeWork.
The We Company is in any case in the wake of many large start-ups, who have rushed this year to the wicket of Wall Street with varied destinies. The largest, that of Uber, was particularly turbulent.
© 2019 AFP