WeWork, the New York-based real estate company that provides shared workspaces, announced that it has received a strategic investment of $150M (approx €129.57M) from Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate services firm that offers agency leasing, tenant representation, and investment management services.
As part of this deal, Cushman & Wakefield’s Chief Investment Officer Nathaniel Robinson will join as an observer to WeWork’s board.
This development comes after WeWork announced its IPO in October 2021. WeWork completed the transaction through a special purpose acquisition company, BowX Acquisition Corp. The combined company operates as WeWork Inc. and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “WE” on October 21, 2021.
Aim of the strategic investment
Recently, the two companies announced their partnership to provide clients with office operations by combining WeWork’s hospitality and tech-enabled services and Cushman & Wakefield’s asset and facilities management services.
This development witnessed a positive reception from major institutional real estate owners and Fortune 500 occupiers, which led to early pilot program opportunities.
Brett White, Executive Chairman & CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, says, “Through this partnership, Cushman & Wakefield will scale WeWork’s technology offerings around tenant experience beyond their own branded spaces into the rest of the office market, giving our clients access to leading data and insights that drive optimal workplace experience and return on investment.”
The partnership helped WeWork grow its new landlord and tenant-focused offerings through two initiatives.
The first initiative will help building owners and corporate occupiers improve the daily user experience through WeWork’s software that will integrate traditional building features like access control and reservation systems with onsite hospitality and amenity programming. The technology will also provide access to critical asset usage data, guiding capital investments to support leasing, tenant, or employee retention, operational efficiency, ESG/energy goals and, ultimately, return on investment.
The second initiative will allow owners to create new revenue streams by operating flexible workspace centers within their portfolio. Over time, as those tenants grow out of the flex space, Cushman & Wakefield’s leasing and project management teams will be able to convert tenants into more traditional office space, within the same building.
Marla Maloney, President of Asset Services at Cushman & Wakefield, adds, “More than ever, property owners are looking for a competitive advantage to drive tenant demand for their offices. Meanwhile, today’s office workers have elevated expectations for a workplace experience that is convenient and customisable, while allowing them to build community with other workers. Even in the early days of this partnership, we’re seeing many opportunities to scale the ‘WeWork experience’ much like we scale our traditional building management services.”
About Cushman & Wakefield
New York-based Cushman & Wakefield is a real estate services firm that offers agency leasing, tenant representation, and investment management services. In 2020, the firm had revenue of $7.8B across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation, and other services.
The company claims to be among the largest real estate services firms with approx 50,000 employees in over 400 offices and 60 countries and is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Flexible workspace provider
WeWork was founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann, Jean Pierre Van Der Berg, and Miguel McKelvey. The firm aims to create environments where people and companies come together and do their best work.
Since opening its first location in New York City, the company has grown into a global flexible space provider committed to delivering technology-driven flexible solutions, inspiring spaces, and community experiences. Currently, its space is helping everyone, from freelancers to Fortune 500s.
WeWork’s recent developments
Last month, the company launched a new €17M initiative to boost the European startup ecosystem. Dubbed as Growth Campus Europe, the initiative is targeted to boost economic recovery across nine European countries – Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Norway, and the Czech Republic.
Prior to that, in June, the company partnered with boutique innovation consultancy firm BW Ventures to launch the first accelerator programme for the music tech industry in Europe, based in Amsterdam. Music Tech Accelerator provides eight new businesses with growth expertise and a private workspace, and helps them develop a commercially and technically feasible product.
The company is also partnering with TEDxAmsterdam on its brand-new Impact Program.
In April, WeWork partnered with BitPay and Coinbase to accept crypto payments. The company said that it will pay landlords and third-party partners in cryptocurrencies where applicable through Coinbase.