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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

WeWork wins $4.4bn from two investment groups

The financial injection from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund will help to change the way people work around the world

A shared office space, operated by WeWork in London. The company pioneered the concept of coworking offices around the world. Jason Alden / Bloomberg
A shared office space, operated by WeWork in London. The company pioneered the concept of coworking offices around the world. Jason Alden / Bloomberg

WeWork Companies announced a US$4.4 billion boost on Friday from two large investment companies.

The New York startup, which pioneered the concept of the co-working space or shared offices, secured the investment from the SoftBank Group and the SoftBank Vision Fund.

This investment will accelerate WeWork’s ability to connect more people to its global community, which currently stands at approximately 150,000 members, as well as further expand the company's physical presence across the globe.

“Masayoshi Son is a visionary business leader and we are humbled by this strong endorsement of our mission and purpose,” said Adam Neumann, cofounder and chief executive of WeWork. “This support from SoftBank and the Vision Fund will provide even more opportunities for creators as we set out to humanise the way people work and live.

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Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive of SoftBank Group said the company is "leveraging the latest technologies and its own proprietary data systems to radically transform the way people work".

“Adam’s unique vision and talented team have created a sharing platform that offers maximum flexibility and opportunity to creators of all types, from young entrepreneurs to large multinational companies. We are thrilled to support WeWork as they expand across markets and geographies and unleash a new wave of productivity around the world.”

SoftBank and the Vision Fund’s investment includes a $3bn investment into WeWork’s parent company via a primary investment in new shares and a secondary purchase of existing shares

There will also be a $1.4bn investment in three newly created companies, each controlled and managed by local WeWork management teams, which will fund the company's expansion in China, Japan, Southeast Asia and Korea.

According to the BBC, WeWork has 10 million square feet of space in 16 countries around the world. However, it does not own the properties, but sub-leases the offices to companies and individuals.