Adam Neumann, the co-founder and former CEO of WeWork, a shared office startup, is working on a new rental company that has received funding from Andreessen Horowitz. According to a report of The New York Timesthe venture capital firm invested approximately $350 million in Neumann’s emerging real estate company, called Flowwhich aims to provide a consistent living experience in a chain of branded apartment complexes.
If you’re familiar with WeWork’s story, you might have a sense of déjà vu. The company, which offers flexible office spaces to employees, was once valued at $50 billion. But after a failed IPO (first public offering) and the layoffs of thousands of its employees, WeWork became known more for corporate drama than its actual company. When Neumann stepped down as CEO in 2019, he kissed a $1.7 billion exit package.
As noted by the Time, this investment marks the “largest individual check Andreessen Horowitz has ever written in a round of financing to a company.” It estimates Flow’s valuation at over $1 billion — despite critics “who have described its WeWork leadership as a cautionary tale of corporate hubris” — and it hasn’t even launched yet.
Neumann has already purchased 3,000 apartments in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville to build his Flow apartments, which will not debut until 2023.
“We think it’s normal for Adam for his first venture since WeWork, [Neumann] returns to the theme of connecting people by transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes,” Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen explains it in a blog post. “Residential real estate – the world’s largest asset class – is poised for exactly this change.”