Skeptics say WeWork’s investors who have given WeWork its billions don’t fully appreciate the risks of the business. Its client list still includes a big share of startups that may not be around for long, as well as larger companies that could leave in a recession. WeWork is on the hook for the long-term leases.
“They’re spending a lot of other people’s money very rapidly,” said Frank Cottle, who runs a network of serviced-office companies and sold a large portfolio of serviced offices to IWG’s predecessor, Regus, two decades ago. “The people investing in WeWork are looking at its story,” he said. “They’re ignoring its profitability.”