WeWork, the seven-year-old, New York-based co-working juggernaut that more recently entered into the business of co-living, has been making a series of small acquisitions with some of the $1.8 billion that it has officially gathered from investors.
Its latest acquisition: Fieldlens, a 5.5-year-old mobile communication system for the construction industry that aims to replace calls, texts, emails and all the other back and forth that’s typically sent between building owners, contractors, subcontractors, architects and everyone else involved in a construction project.
WeWork was already one of Fieldlens’ biggest customers and, as an early adopter — says WeWork’s chief product officer, David Fano, in a new blog post about the acquisition — the company has “seen first-hand what connected front-line teams can accomplish.”
(In the past, WeWork signed traditional lease agreements with landlords. But according to our recent interview with CEO Adam Neumann, as the company has grown, more landlords have agreed to pay for WeWork to design the spaces into which it’s moving; in exchange, the two sides split profits down the middle. This is especially true in India and Israel, where WeWork has entered more recently, Neumann says.)
Neither WeWork nor Fieldlens are sharing financial details, but a source close to WeWork says the company has brought aboard all of Fieldlens’s 25 employees, minus several sales reps.
According to Crunchbase, New York-based Fieldlens — which was founded by Doug Chambers, formerly of Tishman Construction, and Matt Sena, a Goldman Sachs analyst — had raised roughly $12.6 million from investors. Its backers include OpenView, SoftBank and Primary Venture Partners.
Other WeWork acquisitions include Welkio, a digital sign-in system for guests at an office, picked up last year; and Case, a building information modeling and consultancy firm that WeWork acquired in 2015. Terms of those deals were not disclosed, either.
Asked what will happen to Fieldlens’s current product, which is used by thousands of customers in the building trade, we’re told WeWork has no immediate plans to either change or sunset it.