Insight Bite: WeWork adds coding bootcamp to its $20 billion empire

WeWork, the office of choice for “cool” startups from San Francisco to London, has expanded its empire by acquiring Flatiron School, the coding bootcamp.

Credit: Flatiron School

Terms were not disclosed, but the deal fits in with WeWork’s target of becoming not just a place to work, but also to live, network, and learn. WeWork plans to roll out the Flatiron School across a number of its offices. Since opening seven years ago in New York, WeWork is now operating in 16 additional countries.

WeWork has been getting a lot of flack lately for its $20 billion valuation, which made it the most highly valued private company in the US after Uber and Airbnb.

Commenters have pointed out this is an outrageous price tag to put on a company that essentially rents out “cool” offices. WeWork, however, fancies itself to be a lot more than that, with aspirations to become the foremost expert on offices – an office-as-a-service company, if you will.

WeWork has been on an expansion spree, recently having acquired Singaporean competitor Spacemob as part of a big push into Asia. The company is partnering with SoftBank on a Tokyo expansion, after having raised $4.4 billion from Softbank’s Vision Fund in August. WeWork also acquired Unomy in an effort to improve its enterprise client sales, not long after bringing onboard Fieldlens, a mobile communications outfit focusing on the construction industry.


“We are all students for life,” wrote WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann as the Flatiron deal was announced. The walls of WeWork are plastered with the phrase “Do what you love” – whether or not this is good business advice is debatable, but it does create the kind of inspirational atmosphere that’s a vital ingredient to such lofty valuations. Now, however, WeWork has to show investors that they can do math and turn a profit.

Whether WeWork can possibly earn its $20 billion remains to be seen, but the acquisition of the Flatiron School is exactly the kind of deal that the company should be making to show it’s on the right track.


About Acuity Advisors

We know technology – that’s why we’re the industry’s trusted M&A advisor. Our partners are senior players in tech and M&A: skilled at getting to the heart of a technology business, understanding what will attract buyers, and building long-lasting relationships. We have an unrivalled understanding of the industry’s complexities and personalities – our track record and client feedback are compelling evidence of that. We’re an international firm – most of our deals are cross-border, from offices in London, Munich, Shanghai and Silicon Valley – but we’re grounded in our approach. We move quickly when it’s needed, and we’re around for the long haul when patience is a virtue. We’ve maintained a very high success rate across hundreds of deals while keeping our focus on doing what’s right for our clients. From first meeting to successful exit, we earn the trust that clients and investors put in us. Learn more here.

© 2017 Acuity Advisors Limited

A conversation is never wasted. We’re confident that we can give you all the help you need, but we’ll tell you if we think there’s a better option for you.

Get in Touch Get in touch now