WeWork just got 300 million dollars richer thanks to Softbank

Softbank Group Corp. is investing $300 million in shared workspace giant WeWork according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.  While this is short of the $1 billion investment the telecom and technology firm was mulling-over back in January, it is expected that this is just a preview of additional funding that would total $3 billion.  The additional funding would likely come from Vision Fund, which is an investment fund being raised by Softbank, whose main contributors include Softbank, Saudi Arabia, and the Mubadala Development Co.  

Other possible investors in the Vision Fund are Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., and Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp., who would potentially invest $1 billion each.

This infusion into WeWork raises their valuation to between $17 – 18 billion, and it will likely push a rumored 2017 IPO by the seven year-old company into 2018 or beyond.  The New York based provider of shared workspace currently operates in more than 120 locations in 38 cities and 10 countries, offering a range of services from shared conference space, to entire dedicated floors of commercial real estate to around 85,000 members.

Softbank had passed on two prior investment opportunities when WeWork was at a lower valuation, and the current deal is not without controversy as some Softbank executives argued that WeWork’s valuation was already too high. Discussions on the current deal are said to have been ongoing for over a year.