One of the world's most valuable startups is losing money at an increasingly fast rate--and that's a big win for entrepreneurs.

Office-leasing startup WeWork disclosed on Thursday that it lost $723 million during the first half of 2018, more than triple the $154 million it lost during the first half of 2017, Recode reports. The losses come from WeWork's aggressive expansion into new co-working spaces, creating more opportunities for startups and freelancers to grow their businesses without having to sign long-term leases for office space. WeWork is currently valued at about $20 billion.

On top of the startups and freelancers that use WeWork's co-working spaces, small businesses also stand to gain from WeWork's rapid expansion. The company is attracting clients in businesses that don't have enough space for their growing workforce, and that use WeWork for spillover employees.

WeWork recently raised $1 billion from existing investor SoftBank Group, in the form of convertible debt, and WeWork chief financial officer Artie Minson told the Wall Street Journal the company is investing heavily in attracting more enterprise clients.  

Despite losing money at an accelerated rate, Minson said the company's heavy investment will pay off down the line. "There's a mismatch between when we're spending the money and when we'll begin to generate revenue from those buildings," he told WSJ.

WeWork also shared some promising data that points to the company's growing traction with clients. WeWork now has 268,000 members--people who pay for use of its working spaces--more than double the amount it had one year ago. The company's occupancy rates have also increased from 78 percent a year ago to 84 percent today.

Know someone in need of a working space? Through the WeWork's referral program, anyone who refers someone to WeWork can earn a 10 percent monthly referral fee for up to a year. 

Published on: Aug 10, 2018