Even as WeWork faces headwinds at its home base, the co-working giant is pushing ahead with growth plans for India. WeWork India, the New York headquartered firm’s local franchisee arm here, plans to raise $200 million by the end of this year, according to multiple media reports.
The franchisee, which is owned by real estate firm Embassy Group, was initially in talks with ICICI to raise $100 million. Talks broke down following the global firm’s failed shot at an initial public offering last month. About two weeks ago, the firm also saw the departure of its founder Adam Neumann.
“Yes, it (WeWork’s failure to IPO) has been a bit of a challenge for us… we had a bit of a setback when we were looking to raise $100 million from ICICI. But we’ve decided to put our own money into the business (if needed),” Embassy Group chairman Jitu Virwani told newspersons at a media briefing on Thursday.
Thus far, Blackstone-backed Embassy Group has pumped $126 million into the WeWork India business on its own. Another $42.43 million came in ICICI and $28.1 million from other investors including Tata Capital.
WeWork India plans to double its capacity of 45,000 seats across six Indian cities by 2020, said Virwani.
NewYork headquartered WeWork is in the middle of a major business overhaul and is reportedly cutting down 500 technology roles as part of its cost-cutting measures. The company which employs 15,000 people is likely to let go of 2000 employees overall. It is also looking to raise an additional $1 billion from existing investor SoftBank.