WeWork rebrands to The We Company, moves beyond space provision

By Amy Tan / EdgeProp Singapore | February 15, 2019 1:00 PM SGT
In January, the world’s largest co-working space provider WeWork announced that it is rebranding itself as The We Company. Under this new name, the company will expand into other areas, and will comprise three business units – WeWork, which deals with coworking; WeLive, which deals with residential spaces; and WeGrow, which includes an elementary school and coding academy.
Expanding its service offerings in Singapore, WeWork has launched its eponymous start-up lab at City House at the corner of Robinson Road and Boon Tat Street in the CBD. The City House location is one of nine co-working spaces that WeWork has in Singapore to date.
Present in 425 locations around the world, WeWork has more than 400,000 members. Through its labs, the firm hopes to nurture promising start-ups by giving them access to mentors and potential investors through this platform.
The WeWork Labs concept was introduced last year in countries such as the US, South Korea, Brazil, Israel and India. Since its launch, the labs have supported more than 1,000 start-ups. “We don’t actually invest in these companies ourselves or take any equity,” says Turochas “T” Fuad, WeWork’s managing director for Southeast Asia. “It is sort of an incubation programme to help these companies grow and remove some of the challenges that they face in the early stages as a start-up.”
WeWork launched its eponymous Lab at its City House location (Credit: Samuel Issac Chua/Edgeprop Singapore)
Each lab location has a manager who takes on the role of collaborator and innovator. In Southeast Asia, Adrian Tan heads this initiative. Previously, Tan was a programme director at Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (Viisa) as well as entrepreneur-in-residence and programme manager at Singapore-based start-up incubator Joyful Frog Digital Innovation (JFDI). As head of WeWork Labs, he will be organising lecture series and meetings with potential investors for start-ups.
“At the end of the day, MNCs also want to work with start-ups and entrepreneurs to create something that is more specific to their industry,” says Fuad. “So, we become the bridge between companies. We give them a place to work, and tap into our global network or mentorship programme.”
WeWork, however, is not the only co-working operator assisting start-ups. On...