Briefing

Ivanhoé Cambridge invests US$1 billion into WeWork’s commercial real estate division

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WeWork plans on using the money to purchase and develop property in cities including Toronto, London and Paris. In addition to providing funds, Ivanhoé—the real estate firm owned by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec—will help the company find property that can become WeWork businesses. WeWork is also continuing to expand its co-working spaces in Canada: on Tuesday, the firm announced the opening of two such spaces in Montreal. (Globe and Mail, BetaKit)

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Talking point: WeWork’s focus on commercial real estate is a shift for the company, which has mostly focused on subleasing existing office space over owning properties itself. The new focus on property acquisition aims to bring in extra funds in the short term as the company loses money from adding more locations. WeWork faced another blow in January, when SoftBank dropped its plans to invest US$16 billion into the firm, giving it just US$2 billion. The co-working space provider is considering an IPO this year, which could help it bring in cash, if it can avoid a replication of Uber and Lyft’s disappointing debuts. The money could also help WeWork reach its expansion targets for its co-working spaces, which it has yet to do. In March 2018, the company said it would open 20 more locations in Toronto by 2020—it currently has 10 in the city.