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SoftBank punt on WeWork office space hub is risky business10 Oct 2018, 2:23pm

SoftBank punt on WeWork office space hub is risky business

The Guardian
Workspace company makes substantial losses and providing short-term office space is notoriously cyclical WeWork, according to the founders’ blurb, is “a place you join as an individual, ‘me’, but where you become part of a greater ‘we’. A place where we’re redefining success measured by personal fulfilment, not just the bottom line.” Very uplifting, but you’d probably think twice before investing. Funky murals and cheese-tasting events for tenants are eye-catching but, in the end, WeWork is a provider of office space on short-term leases, which is a notoriously cyclical game. And, despite opening offices in more than 70 cities around the world, WeWork currently makes substantial losses. However, SoftBank of Japan, one of the world’s biggest and most adventurous investors, is keen to throw serious sums at the company. It has already invested $4.4bn and, according to reports, is lining up another $10bn or $20bn. Softbank’s co-traveller is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund via the duo’s enormous $100bn Vision Fund, which aims to make big bets on businesses of tomorrow.
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