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WeWork Burned Half A Billion Dollars In Cash In Q3

WeWork burned through $517M during the third quarter of 2020 as the company struggles against coronavirus pandemic-inspired headwinds that have dealt the coworking business model a body blow.


The company's cash reserves, plus commitments from major investor SoftBank, now stand at about $3.6B, down from about $4.1B at the beginning of the third quarter, the Financial Times reports, citing an email from CEO Sandeep Mathrani to WeWork employees.

Since the beginning of 2020, when the pandemic sharply reduced demand for open-plan, short-term office rental space, WeWork has burned $1.7B, including $671M in Q2 2020. Revenue for the company also dropped 8% compared with the second quarter to $811M.

Burning cash is nothing new for WeWork. During Q3 2019, well before the pandemic, the company lost $1.25B. Its failed initial public offering could describe no clear path toward profitability, probably the main reason investors shied away from the IPO, which never saw the light of day.

Mathrani has asserted this spring the company is on track to turn a profit in 2021. Since taking on the job, he has overseen renegotiating leases, laying off staff and replacing management, and selling noncore businesses acquired when Adam Neumann was running things. 

More recently, Mathrani has said the company is bouncing back “100%” in Asian markets such as China, South Korea and Singapore, Bloomberg reports. He also said the company is “100% done with rightsizing” after axing about a third of its workers, or over 8,000 employees.

WeWork's money burn rate was the main reason Fitch Ratings recently downgraded the coworking specialist, noting that the company might burn through all its cash by the end of 2022 if the market for coworking space doesn't improve in the interim. 

Also, SoftBank may be less inclined to throw good money after bad and bail out WeWork once again when and if the coworking company gets low on cash, Fitch said.