WeWork's anticipated IPO value just keeps falling.
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that WeWork's parent company, the We Company, is considering an IPO valuation below $20 billion. That, significantly, is less than half of the company's $47 billion valuation from private fundraising in January--and a further reduction in value from just last week, when the company was reportedly considering a valuation between $20 billion and $30 billion.
The We Company has faced increasing skepticism and scrutiny since filing its first IPO paperwork in August, largely centered on the business model's unprofitable nature and the financial dealings of co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann. Last week, the company announced that it had received $5.9 million from Neumann--which it had paid him for use of the word we, a trademark Neumann had acquired through a private company.
The company, which could open its IPO road show as early as Monday, will simultaneously meet with underwriters and existing investors later this week to determine strategies for attracting public demand, according to the Journal. Some of those existing investors are calling for the IPO to be shelved entirely--but Reuters reported on Friday that the company will proceed nonetheless.
Such a low valuation could be a boon to investors. Last Wednesday, Rennaisance Capital co-founder and chairwoman Kathleen Smith told CNBC that the poor IPO performances of Uber and Lyft--especially given the similar unprofitable natures of their business models--could reflect directly on the We Company's public debut.
"All of these companies [with upcoming IPOs] are going to have to please a pretty nervous set of investors who already got burned in some of these large money-losing IPOs," Smith said. "It's going to be incumbent upon WeWork, and for many reasons, to get that valuation low."