- WeWork, the popular co-working startup, is only one of the companies under The We Company business umbrella.
- The We Company publicly filed its IPO paperwork on Wednesday.
- Originally called WeWork, the startup rebranded under the new name The We Company at the start of 2019 in order to make room for spin-off businesses WeLive,WeGrow, and Rise by We.
- These are the companies under the We Company umbrella, as well as some of the other areas that the company has hinted at expanding into.
- Read all of BI’s WeWork coverage here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The company that operates WeWork’s cache of millennial-attracting co-working spaces publicly filed its IPO paperwork on Wednesday.
The We Company, last valued at $US47 billion, confidentially filed to go public in December. Its IPO has been highly anticipated by high-stake investors like SoftBank and others in the tech industry curious to see the company’s financials and its plan to turn the money-losing business into a sustainable and profitable enterprise.
Under CEO Adam Neumann, the We Company has invested in a bizarre range of projects, from turmeric coffee creamer to wave pools. The company itself rebranded – from WeWork to We Company – in January so it could more easily organise and promote its offerings beyond shared office space.
These are the key consumer-facing businesses under The We Company umbrella:
WeWork: “To create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.”
WeWork provides co-working desk space in commercial buildings in more than 120 cities in nearly 40 countries. Available to businesses and individual workers, WeWork spaces are used by major companies around the world (including Business Insider in San Francisco). WeWork is reportedly planning to soon buy its own buildings instead of subleasing space from other people’s buildings.
WeWork’s success has spawned many other coworking companies, from female-oriented startup The Wing to spiritual wellness-centric business The Assemblage.
WeLive: “To build a world where no one feels alone.”
WeLive runs group-living spaces, also dubbed “hacker houses” or “communes,” that are home to more than a dozen millennial residents that share communal bathrooms and kitchens for cheap rent.
Since 2016, WeLive has run two group-living spaces in New York City (on Wall Street) and Arlington, Virginia’s Crystal City – the neighbourhood home to Amazon’s new HQ2 headquarters. It plans to open more in the future, the company said in its IPO paperwork.
They’re similar to the incubators on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” or the place that Mark Zuckerberg housed the earliest Facebook employees in the company’s early days. They’re tailor-made for students and startup founders who want to live among the high-rent cities of New York and Silicon Valley, but need somewhere they can afford.
The dorm room-like residences also offer perks and activities like morning yoga and happy hours that put that “community feel” into the WeLive spaces. Residents have the option to rent rooms for anywhere from a few nights to a few months at a time.
In its S-1 paperwork, The We Company described it as “[applying] the WeWork formula of blending space, design, community and technology to living. WeLive offers beautifully designed, fully furnished and serviced short- and long-term stay apartments and hotel rooms. WeLive integrates the benefits of our global community through a broad set of technologies. We seek to transform the housing and hotel model of yesterday into a flexible and community-driven experience for today. We strive to create a convenient, comfortable and connected space with everything you need to live, work and play in a single location.”
WeGrow: “To unleash every human’s superpowers.”
WeGrow is in charge of running elementary-level “micro-schools” that have a focus on entrepreneurship, and operate out of WeWork spaces. Since announcing its plans for WeGrow schools in 2017, only one school is in operation, located at a WeWork in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood.
The WeGrow school is designed to be incredibly different than a traditional elementary school. At the New York location, the school curriculum includes an indoor classroom with a tree house and vertical farm; one day a week spent at a farm upstate to harvest crops; and mentorship programming and master classes from WeWork adults.
The admission process into WeGrow schools is similar to that of a private school, complete with an application and parent interview. School-year admission ranges from $US22,000 for two-year-olds, to $US42,000 for children ages five to 11.
“Learning is a lifelong process and we believe that education should not be limited to traditional options,” the company wrote in its S-1. “WeGrow is an independent elementary school focused on supporting the growth of children’s minds, bodies and souls through an integrated curriculum.”
It also suggested it could open more location, describing the Chelsea site as its “first,” and hinted at expanding in other ways: “We also expect to expand our education and learning programs to broaden the reach of our grow mission.”
WeGrow is currently a for-profit enterprise. At the time of the school’s launch, a We Company representative told Fast Company that WeGrow could transition to become a non-profit “at some point in the future.”
Rise by We: “To help people reach their greatest potential.”
Rise by We is advertised as the We Company’s “complete wellness experience” that goes beyond the simple offerings of a gym. The center, located at 85 Broad Street in New York, offers classes ranging from yoga and meditation to boxing and interval training. There’s also a general workout area called “Turf” with typical gym equipment.
To add to the emphasis on “wellness,” Rise by We also runs a “superspa” designed as a communal experience for members to lounge in a sauna, steam room, or mineral pool. Membership to Rise by We can cost anywhere from $US35 a-la-carte classes to $US199 a month for unlimited group classes and spa access, to $US1200 a month for 12 one-on-one workout classes and spa access.
Rise by We is not mentioned by name in the company’s S-1, but may be referenced obliquely. “We also expect to expand our nascent health and wellness programs to broaden the reach of our mission within our work and live spaces,” it wrote.
Meetup: ‘A self-service offering that connects people who share interests, seek to organise events, desire to learn new things’
In late 2017, WeWork acquired Meetup – a platform for organising real-world events and meetups between people with similar interests.
“Meetup is a self-service offering that connects people who share interests, seek to organise events, desire to learn new things, or just want to do more of what they already love,” The We Company’s S-1 said. “On average over 12,000 Meetup events get self-organised every day, with over 1.1 million total Meetup events taking place at our locations in the six months ended June 30, 2019.”
Over the years, the We Company has explored other ideas for expansion that have yet to take shape, from banking services to private yacht charters.
When the We Company announced its rebranding in January, the idea behind the new name was to allow the company “to encompass all aspects of people’s lives, in both physical and digital worlds,” Fast Company reported. The company revealed that a business plan back from 2009 teased expansions into brands like WeBank, which would provide financial and lending services, and WeSail, which would offer yachts for charter in the Caribbean.
It’s unclear which of these ideas the We Company is still pursuing, and the company’s S-1 does not directly mention WeBank or WeSail. A spokesperson for The We Company declined to comment about the expansions reportedly mentioned in its 2009 business plan.
- Read more of Business Insider’s WeWork coverage:
- WeWork just filed to go public – Check out the company’s journey from one SoHo building to a $US47 billion valuation
- WeWork’s founder and CEO didn’t take a salary last year as the company prepared for its massive IPO
- WeWork is going public with an extremely weird, complicated structure
- The life and career rise of Adam Neumann, the billionaire WeWork founder and CEO taking his company public