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Japanese firm Softbank invests $4.4B in WeWork

Japanese telecommunications company Softbank is investing $4.4 billion in co-working firm WeWork.

According to an announcement from WeWork, $3 billion of the investment has been earmarked for the acquisition of WeWork shares. Meanwhile, the remaining $1.4 billion will fund WeWork’s international expansion in Asia. The deal also includes financing from the Softbank Vision Fund, which has investments from Softbank, Apple, Qualcomm, Sharp and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

“Masayoshi Son (Softbank’s chairman and CEO) is a visionary business leader and we are humbled by this strong endorsement of our mission and purpose,” said Adam Neumann, the co-founder and CEO of WeWork. “This support from SoftBank and the Vision Fund will provide even more opportunities for creators as we set out to humanize the way people work and live.”

With the investment, WeWork’s leadership team will be revamped. Softbank Group’s Ronald Fisher and Mark Schwartz will join WeWork’s board of directors. This is not Softbank’s first investment in WeWork. Last June, it poured $300 million into the New York start-up.

The deal comes a month after WeWork raised $760 million in Series G funding. The financing gave the firm a $20 billion valuation. According to Forbes, the firm’s market cap now exceeds that of large office REITs such as Boston Properties and Vornado.

WeWork currently has 160 locations in 16 countries. The company is expected to open new branches in Melbourne, Bogota and Mumbai.


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