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The We Company:
is real estate a disruptable industry?
[Extract]
October 2019
Stéphane Distinguin
President and founder
of Fabernovel
lot has been said about The We Company, whether it is about its
controversial CEO, its delusional valuation, its abyssal losses, its obscure governance or
its esoteric motto.
So, why do we want to take part in the debate? First, because our studies always focus
on strategies that have a disruptive impact on a market or usage. And if there is one
startup that has shaken the real estate market, it’s WeWork.
Moreover, as founders of Bureaux à Partager, we think there are questions to discuss:
what has this model brought to coworking and, more generally, to the real estate
world? What are its limits? And what future can it build?
We do not know whether Wework will become public or not. We do not even know
whether it will actually survive. But, despite all that can be said about WeWork, we
have to admit that they have made coworking a thing. Not just a fashionable
trend, but a real market.
Foreword.
A
2
You’ve missed something? Let’s rewind.
The failed IPO of the “most hyped startup in the world”*.
Aug. 14th
WeWork
releases S-1
Aug. 15th
Morgan Stanley
withdraws
from
WeWork’s IPO
Sept. 5th
WeWork is
ready to cut its
valuation by 2
Sept. 9th
SoftBank,
WeWork's
largest
shareholder,
requests the
suspension of
the IPO
Sept. 13rd
WeWork’s
board
members
announce
major
governance
changes
Sept. 16th
IPO is officially
postponed.
As a result,
WeWork's
bonds fall at a
record pace
(7cts per $)
Sept. 24th
Adam
Neumann
steps down as
CEO of
WeWork. He is
named
non-executive
chairman
* How WeWork became the most hyped startup in the world, Wired (June 2018) Source: Business Insider, CNBC
3
Oct. 23rd
SoftBank
injects $5bn in
WeWork at a
valuation of
$7.5-8bn &
takes the
control. Adam
Neumann exits
the Board.
WeWork’s main challenge:
proving that We can
work.
4
I had the privilege of investing in this
kind of company once before. As a
matter of fact, this kind of company
began in 1956…
… Every single company
in this space has gone broke.
Sam ZELL
Founder and CEO of Equity International,
real estate magnate
Summary.
1
2
3
Meet WeWork.
Presentation of the We Company : its origins, market, value proposition, model,
economics and current situation.
Surfing the tech wave.
WeWork share many characteristics with tech companies, but is it really
tech-powered?
Explore ways for We to work.
What future can we imagine for WeWork? Are there ways to successfully scale
in the real estate market?
5
Meet WeWork,
the company setting
new coworking
standards.
WeWork
Office space business
/ 111 cities
/ 28 countries
/ 485 locations totalling
/ 4.2m square meters
/ 604k work stations
/ 527,000 members
/ o/w 40% are entreprise*
WeLive
Co-living space
/ 2 locations (NY, DC)
* Enterprise members are defined by We as entreprises of more than 500 employees.
MeetWeWork
WeWork, the cornerstone of The We Company.
WeGrow
School
/ 1 location (NY)
MeetWeWork
Adam Neumann, former CEO* &
Co-Founder, 40 years old,
Israeli-American & his wife
Rebekah Paltrow Neumann,
Former WeWork's Chief Brand and
Impact Officer*, 41 years old,
American.
Miguel McKelvey,
Culture Chief Officer &
Co-Founder.
Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey,
two entrepreneurs itching for
something new, moved into the same
office space in Brooklyn, which was
partly vacant. They convinced the
landlord to let them try an experiment:
take over an empty space, divide it up
into small offices, and rent them out –
2008, Green Desk is born –
an early incarnation of what would
eventually become WeWork.
2008
* Since September 2019
2010
WeWork started with 2 entrepreneurs and some empty space. 8
Right after its creation,
WeWork’s founders displayed on the
company’s website the vision of
what the company should become:
a wide range of services designed
for its community.
In sum: a new lifestyle.
MeetWeWork We Company: a collection of businesses to transform our lives.
Source: We Company website
2010 2019
9
13%
in the US, members who
have started a business are
13% more likely to survive
after three years than their
peers who aren’t WeWork
members.
MeetWeWork
Sources: We Global Impact Report 2019, S-1
WeWork puts the community at the center of its model.
WeWork’s
community
seems to help
companies
grow and
thrive:
65%
of startups & freelancers
credit WeWork with
accelerating their
company’s growth.
78%
of entreprise members
report WeWork has helped
them attract and retain
talent.
We wanted to build a community.
A place you join as an individual, ‘me’, but where you become
part of a greater ‘we’.(...) Community is our catalyst.
10
Landlords Members
Workers
Value proposition
/ Design office space in dynamic
location
/ Flexible terms
/ Access to a community
/ Perks (beer, coffee,...)
/ Privileged access to partners’ services
(e.g. discounts on Uber rides)
MeetWeWork WeWork is bundling-unbundling sqm, like any other real estate company.
WeWork’s core business is simple: leasing spaces from landlords at a certain rate, refurbishing and
furnishing them before renting them out in smaller portions and at a higher rate to a collection of space
users. It is commonly known as corporate real estate arbitrage.
Entreprises*
Value proposition
/ Flexible terms
/ Operating cost savings
/ Attractivity for
employees
/ Dynamic work
environment
* Enterprise members are defined by We as entreprises of more than 500 employees.
Value proposition
/ Long-term rents
/ Area dynamism
11
MeetWeWork
Sources: WeWork 2014 pitchdeck, S-1
More
community
activity
Faster ramp-up,
high occupancy,
more revenue
Better deals
w/ landlords
More
locations
Improved
marketplace
& services
More
members
Better
member
experience
Supply Demand
As the WeWork platform grows, community value increases,
creating supply and demand network effects that are mutually reinforcing.
Resulting in a WeWork effect.
MeetWeWork Not a new business and a largely fragmented market.
Barriers to entry are quite low, especially as most landlords usually agree to rent the space for free until it
opens to customers. As a result, the market is largely fragmented.
* Historical player ** Non-exhaustive list Source: Global Coworking Growth Study 2019
Only 2 large global players
A few national players per
country**
A myriad of very small players
(<5 sites)**
In London,
1 coworking
space opens
every 5 days.
13
*
70%
of the Earth’s population
will live in cities by 2050.
51%
of the global workforce
will be millennials by 2020.
40%
of the US workforce will work
as independent workers or
entrepreneurs by 2020.
MeetWeWork Coworking is not a trend: it’s a real market.
Sources: Coworking Resources, SAP, UN World Urbanization Project, Freelance Union Freelancing in America Study
WeWork embraces major societal changes as workers want more flexibility and a better work-life balance.
Nº of coworking spaces in the world
14
Summary.
1
2
3
Meet WeWork.
Presentation of the We Company : its origins, market, value proposition, model,
economics and current situation.
Surfing the tech wave.
WeWork share many characteristics with tech companies, but is it really
tech-powered?
Explore ways for We to work.
What future can we imagine for WeWork? Are there ways to successfully scale
in the real estate market?
15
Wish to know more?
...
… Get in touch!
Contacts :
agathe.martin@fabernovel.com
guillaume.gombert@fabernovel.com
client_office@fabernovel.com
In partnership with :

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[Extract] Study The We Company: is real estate a disruptable industry?

  • 1. The We Company: is real estate a disruptable industry? [Extract] October 2019
  • 2. Stéphane Distinguin President and founder of Fabernovel lot has been said about The We Company, whether it is about its controversial CEO, its delusional valuation, its abyssal losses, its obscure governance or its esoteric motto. So, why do we want to take part in the debate? First, because our studies always focus on strategies that have a disruptive impact on a market or usage. And if there is one startup that has shaken the real estate market, it’s WeWork. Moreover, as founders of Bureaux à Partager, we think there are questions to discuss: what has this model brought to coworking and, more generally, to the real estate world? What are its limits? And what future can it build? We do not know whether Wework will become public or not. We do not even know whether it will actually survive. But, despite all that can be said about WeWork, we have to admit that they have made coworking a thing. Not just a fashionable trend, but a real market. Foreword. A 2
  • 3. You’ve missed something? Let’s rewind. The failed IPO of the “most hyped startup in the world”*. Aug. 14th WeWork releases S-1 Aug. 15th Morgan Stanley withdraws from WeWork’s IPO Sept. 5th WeWork is ready to cut its valuation by 2 Sept. 9th SoftBank, WeWork's largest shareholder, requests the suspension of the IPO Sept. 13rd WeWork’s board members announce major governance changes Sept. 16th IPO is officially postponed. As a result, WeWork's bonds fall at a record pace (7cts per $) Sept. 24th Adam Neumann steps down as CEO of WeWork. He is named non-executive chairman * How WeWork became the most hyped startup in the world, Wired (June 2018) Source: Business Insider, CNBC 3 Oct. 23rd SoftBank injects $5bn in WeWork at a valuation of $7.5-8bn & takes the control. Adam Neumann exits the Board.
  • 4. WeWork’s main challenge: proving that We can work. 4 I had the privilege of investing in this kind of company once before. As a matter of fact, this kind of company began in 1956… … Every single company in this space has gone broke. Sam ZELL Founder and CEO of Equity International, real estate magnate
  • 5. Summary. 1 2 3 Meet WeWork. Presentation of the We Company : its origins, market, value proposition, model, economics and current situation. Surfing the tech wave. WeWork share many characteristics with tech companies, but is it really tech-powered? Explore ways for We to work. What future can we imagine for WeWork? Are there ways to successfully scale in the real estate market? 5
  • 6. Meet WeWork, the company setting new coworking standards.
  • 7. WeWork Office space business / 111 cities / 28 countries / 485 locations totalling / 4.2m square meters / 604k work stations / 527,000 members / o/w 40% are entreprise* WeLive Co-living space / 2 locations (NY, DC) * Enterprise members are defined by We as entreprises of more than 500 employees. MeetWeWork WeWork, the cornerstone of The We Company. WeGrow School / 1 location (NY)
  • 8. MeetWeWork Adam Neumann, former CEO* & Co-Founder, 40 years old, Israeli-American & his wife Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, Former WeWork's Chief Brand and Impact Officer*, 41 years old, American. Miguel McKelvey, Culture Chief Officer & Co-Founder. Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, two entrepreneurs itching for something new, moved into the same office space in Brooklyn, which was partly vacant. They convinced the landlord to let them try an experiment: take over an empty space, divide it up into small offices, and rent them out – 2008, Green Desk is born – an early incarnation of what would eventually become WeWork. 2008 * Since September 2019 2010 WeWork started with 2 entrepreneurs and some empty space. 8
  • 9. Right after its creation, WeWork’s founders displayed on the company’s website the vision of what the company should become: a wide range of services designed for its community. In sum: a new lifestyle. MeetWeWork We Company: a collection of businesses to transform our lives. Source: We Company website 2010 2019 9
  • 10. 13% in the US, members who have started a business are 13% more likely to survive after three years than their peers who aren’t WeWork members. MeetWeWork Sources: We Global Impact Report 2019, S-1 WeWork puts the community at the center of its model. WeWork’s community seems to help companies grow and thrive: 65% of startups & freelancers credit WeWork with accelerating their company’s growth. 78% of entreprise members report WeWork has helped them attract and retain talent. We wanted to build a community. A place you join as an individual, ‘me’, but where you become part of a greater ‘we’.(...) Community is our catalyst. 10
  • 11. Landlords Members Workers Value proposition / Design office space in dynamic location / Flexible terms / Access to a community / Perks (beer, coffee,...) / Privileged access to partners’ services (e.g. discounts on Uber rides) MeetWeWork WeWork is bundling-unbundling sqm, like any other real estate company. WeWork’s core business is simple: leasing spaces from landlords at a certain rate, refurbishing and furnishing them before renting them out in smaller portions and at a higher rate to a collection of space users. It is commonly known as corporate real estate arbitrage. Entreprises* Value proposition / Flexible terms / Operating cost savings / Attractivity for employees / Dynamic work environment * Enterprise members are defined by We as entreprises of more than 500 employees. Value proposition / Long-term rents / Area dynamism 11
  • 12. MeetWeWork Sources: WeWork 2014 pitchdeck, S-1 More community activity Faster ramp-up, high occupancy, more revenue Better deals w/ landlords More locations Improved marketplace & services More members Better member experience Supply Demand As the WeWork platform grows, community value increases, creating supply and demand network effects that are mutually reinforcing. Resulting in a WeWork effect.
  • 13. MeetWeWork Not a new business and a largely fragmented market. Barriers to entry are quite low, especially as most landlords usually agree to rent the space for free until it opens to customers. As a result, the market is largely fragmented. * Historical player ** Non-exhaustive list Source: Global Coworking Growth Study 2019 Only 2 large global players A few national players per country** A myriad of very small players (<5 sites)** In London, 1 coworking space opens every 5 days. 13 *
  • 14. 70% of the Earth’s population will live in cities by 2050. 51% of the global workforce will be millennials by 2020. 40% of the US workforce will work as independent workers or entrepreneurs by 2020. MeetWeWork Coworking is not a trend: it’s a real market. Sources: Coworking Resources, SAP, UN World Urbanization Project, Freelance Union Freelancing in America Study WeWork embraces major societal changes as workers want more flexibility and a better work-life balance. Nº of coworking spaces in the world 14
  • 15. Summary. 1 2 3 Meet WeWork. Presentation of the We Company : its origins, market, value proposition, model, economics and current situation. Surfing the tech wave. WeWork share many characteristics with tech companies, but is it really tech-powered? Explore ways for We to work. What future can we imagine for WeWork? Are there ways to successfully scale in the real estate market? 15 Wish to know more? ...
  • 16. … Get in touch! Contacts : agathe.martin@fabernovel.com guillaume.gombert@fabernovel.com client_office@fabernovel.com In partnership with :