Despite Litany Of Woes, WeWork Still Launching New Business Lines
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The well-known woes of WeWork apparently haven't stopped the company from pursuing new ventures, including a new Bay Area WeWork Food Labs and an electronic gaming arm, which is in its early stages.
The 15K SF WeWork Food Labs in San Francisco, which opened on Friday, is an incubator for food startups. Memberships start at $300 per month. The location is next to a standard 61K SF coworking space at 50 Francisco St. that WeWork opened earlier this year.
While the company's restructuring might contract its operations in other markets, Elton Kwok, general manager of Northern California for WeWork, told the San Francisco Business Times he expects the company to keep growing in the Bay Area. After New York, the Bay Area is the coworking company's largest market.
A number of food-related startups have taken space at the San Francisco WeWork Food Labs, including seaweed snack maker 12 Tides; Brands of Britain, which imports British food; and ESV, a maker of a food information app.
According to the company, WeWork Food Labs is for operations across the spectrum of food and agriculture, including startups whose goal is to make food more sustainable through artificial intelligence, as well as those specializing in robotics, kitchen appliances, supply chain, ag tech and distribution software.
The San Francisco location is the second Food Lab for the embattled WeWork — the other is in New York City near the High Line in West Chelsea.
WeWork has also recently sought a trademark in the UK for Play By We, and has reportedly hired a small staff to develop a gaming concept.
According to the trademark application, Play By We would offer such entertainment as "online competitive, professional video games," Bloomberg reports. The application also says it could provide space for video-gaming events or other meetings.
So far WeWork has been mum about the rollout of any gaming concept, and in the face of staff layoffs and a potential refocus back to its core coworking business by new owner SoftBank Group, it is unclear whether Play By We has any future.