WeWork ($PRIVATE:WEWORK) has lost another $5 billion in value, with its primary backer Softbank assessing its current valuation at just $2.9 billion in a recent regulatory filing, down from $7.8 billion more than six months ago.
From a white-hot startup on the cusp of an IPO and potentially a $100 billion valuation, to the app scrap heap, where WeWork appears to be heading, alternative data tracked the company Adam Neumann nearly turned into a juggernaut as it rose, and then froze, in the pandemic.
Last year, when WeWork's IPO plans derailed at the last moment, the company scrambled to quickly right itself from a spending perspective, cutting hundreds of job postings. At last check, it remained very low - just a few dozen postings online - likely a reflection of how little the company is doing in the Coronavirus pandemic.
In his presentation, where it was revealed Softbank took an additional haircut on its investment, CEO Masayoshi Son criticized himself and said the deal to double down on WeWork was a "foolish" one. So it's not terribly likely that the chart above, tracking LinkedIn profiles that list WeWork as their current place of work, is going to reverse this ugly trend. Already, more than 12% of its staff has disengaged from the company, and more layoffs could be on the way again after the big valuation cut from its primary backer.
The more people have to say, the worse it gets: as WeWork continued to increase the number of ratings it racked up in the Google Play Store - breaking the 1,000 mark, as shown above - user satisfaction just kept on slipping, down 11% over a few years where it rests as of early May. From a peak of $47 billion, the startup's valuation plummeted more than 93%, and alternative data reflects little reason for optimism going forward. If WeWork fails to endure the Coronavirus crisis, it won't be because of the pandemic.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.