$1 Billion Valuation Startup Before it’s Even Launched

The controversial WeWork cofounder is back with another startup. Will Adam Neumann fail again?

Early Life of Adam Neumann

Adam Neumann was born in Israel in 1979. When he was 7, his parents got divorced, and he moved around a lot as a child with his mother.

He reportedly lived in 13 different homes by the time he was 22.

Neumann is severely dyslexic, and he couldn’t read or write until he was in third grade.

Neumann moved to New York City in 2001, where he lived with his sister. He spent his early days in New York Going to clubs and hitting on every girl in the city. 

Neumann dropped out of college, and he finished his degree 15 years later, in 2017, after completing a four-month-long independent study.

Neumann met his now wife, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, while in college. The pair got married in 2009 and now have five children together.

WeWork and Adam Neumann

Neumann met WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey through a mutual friend, and the two reportedly bonded over their backgrounds and competitive streaks.

Soon after, the two developed the idea for WeWork after brainstorming an idea for renting out empty office space to other companies.

In 2008, they convinced their building’s landlord to let them rent out a floor in a nearby Brooklyn building, and Green Desk, an earth-friendly coworking company, was born.

However, they sold off their share of Green Desk to their landlord for $3 million and opened their first WeWork space in 2010 in New York.

Under Neumann as CEO, WeWork expanded to provide coworking desk space in commercial buildings in more than 120 cities in nearly 40 countries.

The company was valued at $47 billion. Today, it is valued at around $4 billion.

Neumann was worth an estimated $4 billion at his peak.

Since founding WeWork, Neumann spent over $80 million on five homes and in 2018, he purchased a 13,000-square-foot home in the San Francisco area worth $21 million.

He also invested in a number of startups both by himself and on behalf of WeWork.

Neumann was WeWork’s largest single shareholder. However, he cashed out some of his stakes and took our loans. 

Neumann’s sales and debt transactions reported totalled $700 million.

The company publicly filed for an IPO on August 14, 2019.

He was ousted from WeWork in 2019.

Neumann walked away with $200 million in cash and $245 million in company stock himself.

The New Venture

After three years, the former WeWork CEO and co-founder, Neumann’s back in the startup game with a rental-housing company called Flow.

According to The New York Times, Andreessen Horowitz, the prominent venture capital firm known for its early investments in Twitter and Airbnb, has pumped about $350 million into Neumann’s newest venture, called Flow.

The funding came from the investment firm A16z also known as Anderson Horowitz.

This gave Flow a valuation of $1 billion even before it officially launched.

This $350 million investment was their biggest check ever.

Adam Neumann’s new startup works on a different model, as the founder has already experienced the rise and fall of WeWork.

Through Flow, Adam aims to revolutionise the housing rental market by making a product that offers various community features and consistent service.

Adam Neumann has tried to do something like this, and he called it WeLive.

He came up with the idea at the same time as WeWork.

WeLive opened only two locations but failed to get off the ground. 

According to The New York Times, Flow will own and operate the properties Neumann has already purchased and will offer its services to new developments and other third-party landlords.

Although Flow’s business operation is not clear, the startup seems to be focused on creating community and wants to solve the undersupply of housing in the US and give renters the ability to build equity despite not being able to afford a house.

Flow is going to launch in 2023, though before it opens its door to business, it’s literally all smoke and mirror.

Only time will tell if Adam Neumann is able to change the narrative in the future by disrupting “the future of Living.”

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