WeWork isn't such a big deal after all

Global co-working firm WeWork is set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, but the valuation is some way below recent expectations.

The firm, which includes Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal, among its global footprint, is considering a valuation of around U$20 to $30 billion according to Bloomberg sources.

While still eyewatering, the figures would put the IPO valuation at around half that of a few months ago when it secured $2 billion from its largest investor SoftBank at a $47 billion valuation.

While the co-working office space is growing with trends including the repurposing of retail space into flexible offices, the cooler valuation for WeWork says more about investors’ fears of overvalued unicorns.

With IPOs from tech-driven service providers Uber and Lyft disappointing recently, there is reduced appetite for inflated share issues.

But then, WeWork may fail to attract those investors who have been willing to pay a premium for industry disruptors.

“WeWork will still have to convince investors during its upcoming roadshow that it deserves a tech company multiple. We continue to believe that WeWork is a real estate company, not a technology company, and one that appears years away from profitability,” said Jeffrey Langbaum,  REITs analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

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