SoftBank is considering taking a majority stake in WeWork

SoftBank is reportedly considering an investment of up to $20 billion in WeWork using capital from its Vision Fund.

SoftBank may soon own up to 50 percent of WeWork, a well-funded provider of co-working spaces headquartered in New York, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

SoftBank is reportedly weighing an investment between $15 billion and $20 billion, which would come from its $92 billion Vision Fund, a super-sized venture fund led by Japanese entrepreneur and investor Masayoshi Son.

WeWork declined to comment.

SoftBank already owns some 20 percent of WeWork. The firm invested $4.4 billion in the company in August 2017, $1.4 billion of which was set aside to help WeWork expand in China, Japan and Southeast Asia.

This August, WeWork raised another $1 billion from SoftBank in convertible debt. At the same time, WeWork disclosed financials to a handful of media outlets, sharing that its revenue had doubled to $763.8 million in the first half of 2018 as losses increased to $723 million.

SoftBank, for its part, seems to have a hankering for real estate tech. Not only has it become a key stakeholder in WeWork, but it has deployed significant amounts of capital to Opendoor, Compass, Katerra and others.

Last month, the Vision Fund backed Opendoor, a platform for buying and selling homes, with $400 million. The same day, it led a $400 million round for Compass, valuing the real estate brokerage startup at $4.4 billion. As for Katerra, SoftBank poured $865 million into the construction tech business in January.

WeWork, founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, has raised nearly $5 billion in a combination of debt and equity funding to date. It was valued at $20 billion in 2017, though reports earlier this summer estimated its valuation would fall somewhere between $35 billion and $40 billion with additional capital from SoftBank. A $40 billion valuation would make it the second most valuable VC-backed company in the U.S. behind only Uber.

WeWork has more than 268,000 members across 287 locations in 23 countries.

WeWork China raises $500M to triple the number of cities it covers

WeWork’s China business is getting a fresh injection of capital after it raised $500 million. The company entered China two years ago and today it covers Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu with nearly 40 locations. It claims 20,000 members, and it is also active in Hong Kong, which technically falls under ‘Greater China.’ The new capital […]

WeWork’s China business is getting a fresh injection of capital after it raised $500 million.

The company entered China two years ago and today it covers Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu with nearly 40 locations. It claims 20,000 members, and it is also active in Hong Kong, which technically falls under ‘Greater China.’

The new capital comes from Trustbridge Partners, Singapore’s Temasek, SoftBank, SoftBank’s Vision Fund and Hony Capital. WeWork said it’ll be used for expansion into six new cities: those are Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Nanjing, and Wuhan. This new raise is a Series B, WeWork China previously scored a $500 million Series A last year, which was also when the Chinese entity was founded.

The company has been pretty busy over that 12-month period, most notably it scooped up its largest rival, Naked Hub, in an acquisition deal that is worth a reported $400 million and massively grew its reach.

Naked Hub builds on WeWork’s presence in Greater China by adding 24 office locations and a further 10,000 members. That’s why WeWork China’s figures are so impressive for just two years of operations. Now, this new capital will put WeWork’s own DNA into that network through this planned expansion spree.

“This investment will help WeWork fuel our mission to support creators, small businesses, and large companies across China,” WeWork CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann said in a statement. “WeWork has built an incredible team in China that supports our members every day, serving as a bridge for local companies who want to reach the world as well as for global companies that want to enter the Chinese market.”

Outside of China, WeWork is also making inroads in India — where it launched in 2017 — Korea, Japan (where it operates a joint venture with SoftBank) and Southeast Asia, where it made an acquisition to kick-start its presence. Indeed, WeWork has a float of around $500 million for its operations in Southeast Asia and Korea, although the total pot for India is unknown at this point.

WeWork China’s big raise comes days after Hong Kong’s Campfire pulled in $18 million and Awfis in India raised $20 million.