WeWork has raised $US4.4 billion ($AU5.6 billion) in funding from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund, the office sharing startup announced Thursday.
SoftBank is investing $US3 billion in WeWork itself, and putting another $US1.4 billion into three new WeWork subsidiaries — WeWork China, WeWork Japan, and WeWork Pacific.
As part of the investments, SoftBank will is naming two directors to WeWork’s board: Ronald D. Fisher, a director of SoftBank Group; and Mark Schwartz, an external director of SoftBank Group.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that WeWork raised $US300 million from SoftBank with plans to raise a total of $US3 billion. Then, in early July, Bloomberg reported that WeWork had gotten another $US760 million. At the end of July, WeWork secured an extra $US500 million from SoftBank. Thursday’s announcement includes the previous investments.
WeWork leases out large blocks of space in commercial buildings and then subleases them to smaller companies, frequently tech startups. The new-age real estate firm was valued at $US21 billion in July, making it the fifth highest-valued startup in the world.
SoftBank’s investment represents one of the first made by its new $US100 billion tech-focused Vision Fund, which was announced last October and is being described as the largest fund of its kind in the world.