WeWork, the eight-year-old, 800-pound gorilla in the co-working space, hasn’t been known for being terribly acquisitive, despite the billions of dollars it has raised and its valuation, which one of its biggest investors, SoftBank, apparently believes to be approaching $35 billion. To wit, it made just one small acquisition in 2015 (Case), and one other in 2016 (Welkio).
Yet the company is clearly beefing up its efforts to, well, beef up.
Last year, it acquired five companies, including Meetup, a site for organizing group trips and events for which WeWork paid a reported $200 million. It meanwhile acquired three companies earlier this year, including the Chinese co-working startup Naked Hub, for which it paid $400 million.
Now, WeWork is announcing its fourth acquisition of 2018 — and its third-biggest purchase to date — with Teem, a maker of office management software for which a source says WeWork paid $100 million in cash.
The six-year-old, Salt Lake City, Utah-based outfit had raised $21.5 million from investors, including Origin Ventures, Greycroft and NGP Capital.
WeWork appears to have picked up the company for several reasons, beginning with its ongoing quest to provide its growing base of corporate customers with bells and whistles like “insights” to help make their spaces more productive.
The two also share numerous customers, including GE, whose CTO of digital workplace technology, Jeff Monaco, went so far as to issue a statement about the tie-up, saying that Teem’s “suite of workplace software tools helps make our day-to-day more seamless, so our employees can focus on innovating new projects, not trying to find a conference room.” (GE, along with GM, Samsung, Salesforce, Bank of America and Bacardi are among a growing list of corporate giants to plunk their employees, or their portfolio companies, in WeWork locations.)
The move also extends the general evolution of WeWork into more of a software company and not simply a real estate play. Another aspect of its business, for example, is helping design, construct and manage services on behalf of enterprises that want some of that WeWork je ne sais quoi but would rather lease their own offices.
Either way, we’re told that Teem will continue to operate as an independent business, serving its current customers from its Salt Lake City offices while also providing its services as part of WeWork’s offerings — which, based on recent history, you can expect to expand even further, and fast.