Top WeWork Executives Meet with Israeli Investors
WeWork looking to Israel’s capital market for new funding, and for partnership on new real estate projects, say representatives of Israeli institutional investors
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The New York-based shared office space company sent its executive vice president of finance and operations, Ariel Tiger, and other top company officials to Israel, where they met most of Israel’s insurance companies and investment firms, the representatives said. WeWork’s Israel general manager Benjy Singer was also present at these meetings.WeWork declined to comment. The trip was not focused on the company’s local operations, which currently include nine locations. Instead, WeWork reached out to Israeli investors to get them involved in upcoming funding rounds and to invite them to join as partners in real estate projects around the world, according to the Israeli investors’ representatives. “At first it was odd that a company with so much money would come to Israel to meet with investors,” one representative said. “When we saw and understood the plans they have for the future, we came to see that they need a lot of funding and that the Israeli capital market is also a destination for them–seeking us as investment partners in real estate projects abroad and as a possible source of funding for other private endeavors.” WeWork was valued at $20 billion in August after a $4.4 billion investment from Softbank Group Corporation. In an interview with Calcalist in March, WeWork’s founder and chief executive, Adam Neumann, said the company is headed toward an initial public offering but did not say when it would happen.
Mr. Neumann and his partner Miguel McKelvey founded WeWork in 2010. The company takes out long-term leases on office spaces that it transforms into lively coworking spaces for startups and professionals. Today, WeWork operates more than 150 locations in 36 cities, employing more than 15,000 workers.
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Israeli-born Messrs. Neumann and Tiger met while serving in the Israeli navy. Some of WeWork’s earliest investors hail from the Israeli venture capital ecosystem or have Israeli links. The company operates a research and development center in Tel Aviv.