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WeWork Makes First Official Move Toward An IPO

The We Company, the parent of shared office specialist WeWork, as well as WeGrow and WeLive, has submitted paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a first step toward an initial public offering. 

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The entrance of WeWork's White House location, its largest in D.C.

The submission is confidential, so the details aren't public yet, including any timetable. Even so, the filing is a more solid step toward going public than the company has previously undertaken.

New York-based WeWork has been making noises about an IPO for some time. In 2017, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann said his company would go public, but provided no specifics.

That year, the company also made a number of management changes that were thought to presage an IPO, though none followed.

It isn't clear whether WeWork would be in a strong position to persuade investors to participate in an IPO. Though the company is flush for now with SoftBank cash — the Japanese investor's latest investment in WeWork totaled $6B — it is still hemorrhaging money.

In 2017, WeWork’s revenue came in at $886M, while its net loss was $933M. (WeWork was the name of the entire company before early 2019.) 

In 2018, WeWork's revenue mushroomed to $1.82B. Its net loss also mushroomed, to $1.9B for the year.

Even so, the company insists that investors will be interested. 

"We have a global membership network that sits on top of this global physical platform that we have the opportunity to further monetize," WeWork Vice Chairman Michael Gross told Axios.

Besides SoftBank, prominent investors currently backing WeWork include Benchmark, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and Goldman Sachs, Tech Crunch reports.