Co-working space provider WeWork plans to occupy its India franchisee

WeWork, a co-working platform, based out of New York is, reportedly, planning to take majority control of its India franchisee, cited ET.

According to the sources, the company is in talks to buy around 70 per cent of WeWork India at a valuation of about $2.75 billion. The deal, if goes through, will allow WeWork to consolidate financial results from the fast-growing unit as it prepares for an initial public offering in 2019.

WeWork, headquartered in New York City, the company was founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010. It is an American company that provides shared workspaces for technology startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and large enterprises.

While, WeWork India, based out of Bengaluru, is a brand franchisee controlled by Buildcon LLP, which is owned by real estate billionaire Jitu Virwani and his son Karan Virwani.

Jita Virwani is the chairman and managing director Indian real estate developer Embassy Group, whereas, Karan Virwani is the CEO of WeWork India.

WeWork last valued at $47 billion, pioneered the concept of shared work spaces, expanding to 425 office locations in 36 countries.

With trendy work areas, colorful phone booth-like conversation areas and lively community hangouts serving beer on tap, the startup has reshaped office practices around the world.

Adam Neumann, co-founder and chief executive officer, has built the company by cultivating an eccentric office culture, down to its mission statement to elevate the world’s consciousness.

Besides, India is one of WeWork’s fastest-growing markets, with 35,000 seats in more than 20 shared locations 18 months after launch.

It hosts companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. in Bangalore, and Spotify Technology SA and Bumble in Mumbai. The India unit projects to grow to 90,000 seats by March next year, the end of fiscal 2020.

While, according to the report by real estate services firm JLL, co-working startups are proliferating in the country, creating a thriving community for entrepreneurs and small startups. It shot up to nearly 10 per cent of total office space leasing from January to September 2018, compared with 4 per cent the year before.

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