It’s not even been a full three years since Adam Neumann made a shaky exit from office space-sharing company WeWork, and the financial world is already ready to bet on Flow, his forthcoming rental real estate business for residential use.
What’s even more interesting is that the yet-to-be-launched startup has already achieved unicorn status, according to The New York Times. In business, the term is used for a startup that has crossed a valuation of $1 billion. Flow has received $350 million in funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
While it’s not unusual to expect entrepreneurs like Neumann to come up with new business ideas again and again, Marc Andreessen saying that a16z loves seeing “repeat-founders build on past successes” is tough to swallow given WeWork’s failed IPO and Neumann’s resignation from his position as CEO in 2019.
Back in May 2022, the WeWork co-founder managed to attract $70 million for his startup Flowcarbon (blockchain-based) in a venture round led by a16z crypto. The firm’s latest $350 million capital commitment to Neumann has obviously ruffled some feathers in the tech and startup industry which is going through a tough time.
On the other hand, a16z’s faith in Neumann has clearly not materialized from thin air given the rising cost of rentals in the US. As real estate gets costlier, more and more people are opting to rent homes instead of buying them. The question is — Will Flow end up as WeWork 2.0 or will Neumann’s experience in the office space rental business benefit investors going forward?
If you go to the Flow website, you’ll see that Neumann’s not giving away much in terms of details. All it says is “Live life in flow” and that it’s coming in 2023. There’s a Join Us button which asks visitors to sign up with their email ID and other details if interested.