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WEWORK’S SECRET WEAPON: DATA AND ALGORITHMS

BY YONI NIEMANN, TECH HEIGHTS PROGRAM MANAGER

Do you know how WeWork actually makes money? It might not be how you think.

Founded less than 10 years ago by an Israeli, Adam Neumann (no, we’re unfortunately no family 🙂 ), WeWork is currently valued at $47B and on its way to an IPO. WeWork has 400 locations worldwide, made $1,8B in revenue in 2018, employs more than 10.000 people, and is one of the largest global physical networks. However, WeWork is not a simple real estate arbitrage or master leasing play. While memberships are currently their largest revenue source, data and algorithms could be their long-term strategic profit generator. WeWork is collecting data and developing algorithms to manage buildings and increase productivity efficiently.  They then sell that knowledge through consulting services to large enterprise customers. Powered by We is what WeWork’s CTO Shiva Rajaraman has referred to as the “Google Analytics for space” (source: TechCrunch).

Powered by We is WeWork’s move into the enterprise market as office space consultants, where they are leveraging data, algorithms, and design expertise to tailor a company’s new space or reconfigure it in a much more efficient way. They do that with the help of an in-house developed suite of integrated technology, such as sensor-driven spatial insights. Technology that harnesses big data and enables enterprise customers to understand better the way their company’s people work and adapt accordingly.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in a meetup in New York with Roee Adler, WeWork’s SVP, Global Head of WeWork Labs. Even before WeWork, Roee was well known in the Israeli start-up scene and as down to earth and friendly as can be. While listening to Roee’s personal story and way of thinking product, I understood the magic of WeWork. It was there I learned that under the radar, WeWork is brilliantly creating a layer of technology to power their vision of “space as a service.” And they are already selling enterprise services to some of the largest companies in the world, such as Pinterest, Microsoft, Blackrock, Adidas, Facebook, and Starbucks.

What many people don’t know is that WeWork has a large R&D department in Israel, employing 200 workers, of which about two-thirds are software developers focusing on developing software for the future of managing office space.

So if you’re a software developer, WeWork could be an interesting place to work and develop state-of-the-art systems to automate, optimize, and improve the everyday office experience.