The day of reckoning for the “flexible office space as a startup” is coming, and it’s coming up fast. WeWork’s IPO filing has fired the starting gun on the race to become the game-changer both in the future of property and real estate but also the future of how we live and work. As Churchill once said, “we shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.”
Until recently, WeWork was the ruler by which other flexible-space startups were measured, but questions are now being asked if it deserves its valuation. The profitable IWG plc, formerly Regus, has been a business providing serviced offices, virtual offices, meeting rooms and the rest, for years, and yet WeWork is valued by 10 times more.
That’s not to mention how it exposes landlords to $40 billion in rent commitments, something which a few of them are starting to feel rather nervous about.
Some analysts even say WeWork’s IPO is a “masterpiece of obfuscation.”