WeWork has just announced its new growth strategy in Brazil: Station by WeWorka marketplace for coworking spaces.
At Station, coworkings and event spaces from all over Brazil will be able to connect and benefit from the global brand’s member base, strengthening the industry ecosystem.
WeWork Latam is investing R$44 million in the new platform, a strategy to continue growing in Latin America and expand the brand’s reach in a technological and asset light way, in addition to further facilitating the possibilities of hiring spaces per day and per month, at WeWork locations or partners.
“With the return to face-to-face engagements, business trips and the intensification of the search for talent beyond regional barriers, we have seen an emerging demand for the geographic expansion of WeWork spaces, and, in Brazil, we are in eight cities. With the marketplace, we will increase the reach of the brand, especially in places with high demand, such as Brasília and Fortaleza, without increasing costs and without deadlines for acquiring new buildings”, said Claudia Woods, CEO of WeWork in Latin America.
“We are experiencing the digitization of real estate and it is no coincidence that, according to the Redefining Work Models in Latin America survey, 75% of respondents say they see similarities between mobility apps and on-demand workspaces. Finding an ideal workspace will be as simple as ordering lunch or a car per app. With this launch, WeWork continues to strengthen its technology-based solutions, offering more price range and reinforcing its purpose for individual and corporate customers,” adds Claudia.
The strategy reinforces the focus on flexibility and the office-anywhere concept. Station by WeWork is expected to offer flexible offers in all Brazilian capitals, accelerating scalability.
The novelty also enhances the benefits of the company’s most flexible product – WeWork Access, which includes subscriptions based on the All Access or pay-as-you-go model.
The executive says that this is a strategy that empowers everyone involved: “from the members’ point of view, they will have access to an even larger portfolio of flexible workspaces with greater geographic distribution, all with the usability/ease that they are already familiar with. accustomed and with a greater variety of prices. As for partner coworkings, the gains are diverse, as they will optimize time and money,” she highlights.
This will happen because the attraction of members will continue to be the responsibility of WeWork, which professionalises, attracts and promotes partner spaces, offering visibility and optimizing profitability.
Through Station by WeWork, partners will have access to the demand of thousands of WeWork members in Brazil and around the world. “The creation of the marketplace symbolizes a pivot in the old and costly business model, which required capex high, for a solution asset light with exponential growth potential. It represents the beginning of experimentation with a new business model in the collaborative universe between coworkings, fostering local markets while allowing regional expansion”, says Claudia.
The platform will be launched to the end consumer in October, but is now available for coworking partners to be a part of. Among the names already confirmed, in addition to the WeWork units themselves, are some great brands in the sector, among them: My Place Office, The Brain, Elephant, Way Coworking and Hub Coworking.
Operating in one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, the market had declared the office dead. But, in fact, the moment marked the end of the old working model.
The hybrid model gained strength, flexibility became essential, work models ceased to be an operational discussion and reached the CEOs’ table, strengthening WeWork’s purpose beyond startups and entrepreneurs.
Multinationals and large companies began to see value in flexible and shorter contracts, in the settlement of payment risk for long-term commitments, in more attractive work environments for employees, in the agility to reduce or increase capillarity and in the ability to reinvent themselves through flexible products.
By the end of 2022, Brazil will reach a significant representation in the brand’s revenue in Latin America, accounting for 35% of total revenue in the region. In addition to the regional highlight, the country also celebrates its recovery and reports a 135% growth in revenue compared to September 2020, 42% above the best pre-pandemic month. Space occupancy follows a consistent growth and reaches the historic number of 70% in Latin America, with Brazil reporting 85% of its occupied spaces.
For Felipe Rizzo, CEO of WeWork in Brazil, the balance between successful business growth and a series of decisions aligned with financial sustainability were fundamental to this result.
“Fortunately, we have been following this path in a very virtuous way in the last year regionally and, mainly, in Brazil. In Latin America, we are part of a joint venture with SoftBank, which has given us the combined strength of a network of large companies with knowledge of the Latin market. This, together with decisions based on the sustainability of the business, the search for profitability and the rethinking of our work models, allowed us to reduce our costs by 40%.”
However, Rizzo points out: “It’s not just a matter of reducing costs. This year, we increased our membership by 55% and reached 30% more members than at any other time in our history.”
Investment in technology and innovation has provided rapid adaptation and agility in creating flexible products to meet market demand in the post-pandemic period, offering solutions that go beyond fixed offices and become access contracting possibilities.
In addition to the revenue milestone, Brazil achieves profit and loss (P&L) stability, enabling growth with its own investment and being the country chosen for the launch of the company’s new pilot.
The launch is also in line with the current moment of discussions about flexible working models, which are taking place around the world. Research by WeWork, in partnership with HSM and Egon Zehnder, indicates that 81% of Latin American professionals consider the hybrid model ideal for the post-pandemic.
As a result, companies from all segments are looking for WeWork, like those in more traditional sectors of the market. In addition to physical spaces, WeWork supports organizations of all sizes and segments in designing their work policies, providing data and insights on how they can best utilize their spaces.
Other numbers that reinforce the success of the brand’s operations in the region: for 22 consecutive months, since November 2020, Latin America has shown constant and consistent growth with a positive balance of net sales, reaching occupancy higher than pre-pandemic months in all countries where the brand operates in Latin America and a record number of members.
Other data that corroborate Brazil’s leading role in the region involve the fact that the flow of members in the brand’s buildings, in June 2022, grew more than 22 times compared to April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.
Operations in Latin America
In May 2021, WeWork and SoftBank Latin America Fund entered into a joint venture to combine the strength of WeWork’s products with the proven local operating experience of the SoftBank Latin America Fund, which solidified WeWork’s position as a strategic partner for companies seeking flexible space solutions.
THE joint venture includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and, as of February 2022, Costa Rica.
Learn more about Station by WeWork here.