WeWork Founder Adam Neumann Gets $350M for New Startup, "Flow"
Disgraced WeWork co-founder Adam Neuman is at the height of tech news right now as he has managed to receive a $350m dollar investment for his newest business venture despite his questionable past. We’re gonna talk about that investment and his new company, but first, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Adam Neuman started WeWork in 2010 with the intention of reinventing what a workplace looks like and helping to build a better work-life balance for WeWork customers. The company was an absolute smash hit and made coworking spaces the new wave for workers, especially young people beginning to work remote jobs. WeWork’s whole mission was to build the new “office of the future” that made work an enjoyable place to come to, which in turn, would improve productivity. It made sense, it was cool, and for a while, it was working. The company grew at an incredibly high pace and in 2019 it was valued at an absolutely mind-blowing $47B valuation after receiving a large investment from Softbank. However, that inflated valuation had a firm reality check when WeWork filed its IPO paperwork and shortly after was heavily scrutinized for its questionable finances and leadership. This forced WeWork to delay its IPO and face the heavy allegations that it was being accused of. The media attention gravitated towards Adam Neumann and his inappropriate antics including, but not limited to, smoking weed on a private jet, serving employees tequila shots after discussing layoffs, and trademarking the term “We” and forcing WeWork to buy it back from him for $5.9 million.
The plot continued to thicken as more issues surrounding Neumanns behavior and shady financial actions became public with one fact really shocking the world. It was discovered that Neumann had been buying real estate properties and then leasing them to WeWork. So, WeWork’s CEO also became WeWork’s landlord, leading to a whole array of concerns over it being a conflict of interest. All of these shady antics forced SoftBank, WeWork’s biggest investor, to take control of the company, and buy out Neumann with a $1.7B deal to step down from his position as CEO and leave the company. WeWork’s current status is a whole different story, but what Adam Neumann has been doing with his time and money since being pushed out of WeWork is what’s really shocked the tech world.
Neumann announced that he has bought over 3000 multi-unit properties since leaving WeWork, and is now introducing his new company called Flow which aims to offer residents community-style living with a focus on remote workers. And, if that sounds extremely familiar, it’s probably because he essentially already had this idea with WeLive, a branch of WeWork that barely got its feet off the ground.
This idea just recently became a reality when Neumann and his team at Flow received a large investment from one of the top VCs in the world. Andreessen Horowitz, otherwise known as A16Z, gave Neuman a $350M dollar check for his company that, for the record, is currently nothing more than 3000 units and an extremely vague website. This news has really shocked the world for a multitude of reasons, and a lot of people aren’t happy with Adam Neumann for trying to work his way back into the startup world, or with Andreessen Horowitz for investing such an insane amount of money into a company owned by a guy who absolutely tanked his last company.
Nobody knows how this new company will play out, and it may end up being a successful venture now that Adam Neumann has learned his lessons. On the other hand, it may be another WeWork disaster. Only time will tell, and we’ll just have to be on the lookout for further updates on this whole situation.
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