Ahead of potential IPO, WeWork’s revenue doubles in Q1 2019 while it continues to lose capital

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Published: June 2, 2019 1:59:09 PM

WeWork's losses were down marginally from $274 million in Q1 2018 to $264 million in Q1 2019 while its losses before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda level) was up from $107 million in Q1 last year to $220 million in Q1 this year.

WeWork’s locations and memberships more than doubled to 485 and 466,000 respectively in Q1 2019 from the same period last year. (Image: Bloomberg)

Global co-working giant WeWork, which had filed for IPO in December, saw its revenue for Q1 2019 doubling to $728.4 million from $342 million for the same period last year even as it continues to lose capital, as per the quarterly financial results.

WeWork’s losses were down marginally from $274 million in Q1 2018 to $264 million in Q1 2019 while its losses before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda level) was up from $107 million in Q1 last year to $220 million in Q1 this year.

The company’s locations and memberships also more than doubled to 485 and 466,000 respectively from the same period last year.

WeWork’s IPO would have investors watching it closely of how it performs given the poor performance of the recent tech startups’ IPOs including Uber and Lyft while losing millions of dollars without any clear profitability path. In fact the company is trying to have Wall Street look things differently in its case when it comes to losing money — synonymous with every startup’s growth plans. The timing for the IPO, however, is not clear.

We Work’s chief financial officer Artie Minson wants investors to look at its losses as investments. “We really want to emphasize the difference between losing money and investing money,” Minson told CNBC. “You can lose money or you can invest money.”

WeWork has been relying on funding for growth that comes from heavy investments in real estate. SoftBank has already invested over $10 billion in the company that is so far valued at $47 billion.

The company saw losses nearly $2 billion in 2018 while revenues stood at $1.8 billion in 2018. It is now looking to raise $2.75 credit from banks ahead of its IPO, Bloomberg reported, as it needs money to “secure, design and lease office space to sustain robust revenue growth,” said REITs analyst Jeffrey Langbaum.

WeWork was sitting on a cash pile of $6 billion as of early 2019 and had burned $2.3 billion in 2018, said Langbaum.

In India, WeWork has 21 locations across Mumbai, Gurugram, and Bengaluru and would “expand to other cities scheduled, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, in the second half of 2019,” the company said in its Global Impact Report in April this year.

WeWork India competes with Innov8, which was acquired by OYO in March this year, and Sequoia-backed Awfis, 91springboard among prominent players in the coworking space in India.

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