Co-working is a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar business, evidently.
WeWork, the company behind co-working spaces throughout the world, just raised $4.4 billion—yes, billion—in a funding round from SoftBank.
WeWork launched in 2010 and is one of the biggest private tech companies in the world. Critics, however, question whether co-working is really worth $20 billion. The company rents out office spaces around the world and then re-rents it to small startups or freelancers who don’t have or want their own offices.
Before this massive funding round, WeWork had raised $1.4 billion. Rumors that WeWork could bring on this much funding started spreading in February.
The investment is made up of $3 billion toward WeWork’s parent company and another $1.4 billion in local WeWork businesses in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia and Korea, part of which was previously announced. It’s from SoftBank, a Japanese telecom giant, and SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
“This support from SoftBank and the Vision Fund will provide even more opportunities for creators as we set out to humanize the way people work and live,” WeWork CEO Adam Neumann said in a statement.
Right now, WeWork has 150,000 members in 16 countries. With $4.4 billion behind it, those numbers will probably grow pretty soon.