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WeWork Continues Its Software Company Acquisition Bender, Aims To Be Tech Company

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WeWork, which is a division of The We Company these days, has acquired Euclid, a San Francisco-based software company specializing in gathering data on people as they move through physical space.

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

The acquisition is the latest in a pattern of software company buys by the coworking giant, pointing to its evolution into a data-driven tech company.

WeWork is shifting its business away from rent arbitrage to a higher-margin services business as insurance against what might happen to its vast portfolio of leases — in about 475 buildings worldwide — when the next economic downturn comes, Fast Company reports.

During the last few years, WeWork has acquired Case, which makes architectural modeling software, Welkio, an office sign-in system, Fieldlens, a communication platform for construction sites, and a number of other software companies, Crunchbase reports. Six months ago, WeWork ponied up $100M for Teem, a Salt Lake City software startup specializing in office management. In late 2017, WeWork acquired a coding academy in New York, the Flatiron School, and has been expanding it since.

WeWork Chief Product Officer Shiva Rajaraman told TechCrunch that the Euclid platform will be part of what WeWork calls “workplace insights,” a software analytics package for companies that aren’t renting WeWork space but that want their space to be like WeWork offices.

Euclid software could, for example, track the usage of a particular gathering area or office amenity: how many people use it and how often they use it, among other metrics. Presumably that data would enable office space to be used more cost-effectively by landlords and tenants.

For now, The We Company has the war chest it needs for continued expansion into software. In January, the coworking titan secured yet another investment from Japanese investor SoftBank, in this case $6B, though that wasn't as much as previously announced. 

Some observers have criticized WeWork's expansion and its sky-high valuation of about $45B, especially since the company is losing money even as revenues remain high. Even so, WeWork asserts that it would weather the next recession in good shape.