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A Billion Dollar Idea

This is the story of the most successful start-up in the history of Silicon Alley: in just eight years, a two-person start-up grew into the world’s largest network of work environments, communal offices, communities and workspaces. WeWork is valued at more than 20 billion dollars, operates 230 office locations in 21 countries and 71 cities around the globe, and aims to keep up this furious pace of growth. OOOM met the manager responsible for this runaway success in the global WeWork headquarters located in New York’s Chelsea district: Chief Growth Officer Dave Fano.

Herbert Bauernebel18. Juli 2018 No Comments

Wework HQ on West 18th Street in Manhattan, NY.

7.3 billion for tech companies. At their peak in 2015, up-and-coming tech companies accrued roughly 7.3 billion USD in venture capital. The boundless creativity in the global metropolis, the risk appetite, the social tolerance and the focus on sustainability attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world. Dave Fano leaves no doubt that he considers New York the perfect birthplace for WeWork. According to him, the Big Apple plays a large part in the success story of the now eight-year-old company: “But we have grown into a truly global enterprise, a melting pot for cultures from all around the world.” Fano points out the notably high rate of company foundations in the property segment here in New York, a business area he calls “real estate tech. There is tremendous momentum in this segment right now.”

WeLife, a new horizon. WeWork is planning to apply its successful concept in other areas as well: with the brand “WeLife,” the company aims to make the idea of the good old flat-share cool again. “Rise by We” is a bid to offer a new quality of experience in the luxury gym segment. “WeGrow,” the company’s first in-house daycare facility for three- and four-year-olds, will open later this year. Every new business venture is firmly rooted in the basic idea formulated by founder Neumann: “We’re better together.” It seems fitting, then, that the daycare center is one of the tech billionaire’s special concerns: Neumann has four children with filmmaker Rebekah Neumann, a cousin of film star Gwyneth Paltrow. All that said, there is one business segment that WeWork will not venture into in the foreseeable future: digital matchmaking.

“We’re being asked about it all the time,” Fano laughs, as he says goodbye to us in one of the community cafés close to the exit. “Don’t worry, there won’t be a WeDate anytime soon….”

18. Juli 2018