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2019-05-05 — bbc.co.uk

As it prepares for a stockmarket listing, the parent company of WeWork, provider of trendy shared office space, looks set to be valued at around $47bn (£36bn).

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Underneath the beautiful decor though, some argue We Company is really just a real estate company, prompting the question: should it have such a high market value?

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Mr Neumann told Forbes magazine the firm's valuation has more to do with its size, its "energy and spirituality" than its revenues. While revenues are growing, it hasn't met its most recent targets and it is loss-making.

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While WeWork, WeLive and WeGrow may have the look and feel of a disruptive tech company with their light, airy designs, colourful squishy sofas and beer taps, analysts like Calum Battersby, at Berenberg argue it is not so very different from rivals IWG, which used to be known as Regus, and Australia's ServCorp which also offer serviced office space.

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the firm hasn't hit projected financial targets. Instead of expected revenue of $2.8bn last year sales were $1.8bn. It had hoped for a profit of $941.6m. It made a loss $1.9bn.

We has surpassed its target for 260,000 WeWork members. But it wanted 34,000 WeLive members and the residential business was supposed to make up a third of total revenue, neither of which has happened.

So far, the furnished apartment business WeLive only has two sites, in New York and Washington DC, though it is planning to open in Seattle in 2020.

But Artie Minson, We's president and chief financial officer, is upbeat, recently telling investors it ended 2018 with $6.6bn in cash and is still "in the early stages of disrupting real estate, the largest asset class in the world."

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