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Big companies are fueling WeWork’s growth

Companies with more than 1,000 employees — like Microsoft and Salesforce — now make up 20 percent of membership and 30 percent of sales.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Big companies are WeWork’s fastest-growing business.

Enterprise companies — which the co-working company defines as companies with 1,000 or more workers — now make up 20 percent of WeWork’s membership and 30 percent of its monthly revenue, according to data WeWork shared with Recode. WeWork only started its enterprise product in May of 2016 and enterprise rates were negligible before then.

Major enterprise clients include tech companies like Microsoft and Salesforce but also more traditional blue chips like Bank of America and HSBC.

The number of enterprise companies leasing space from WeWork almost doubled, or grew 90 percent in July of this year compared with the same month last year. And the number of seats, or workers enterprise companies had working at WeWork grew nearly five times, or 360 percent, meaning that existing corporate clients are taking more real estate.

The $21 billion company— only Uber and Airbnb are more valuable private companies — recently received a huge $4.4 billion investment from SoftBank. It’s also helping change the face of an industry that was once the province of freelancers and startups.

Seven years ago, freelancers and independent workers composed nearly 80 percent of co-workers, according to survey data from consulting firm Emergent Research. Now they’ve shrunk to 39 percent, while membership from small and large companies has grown significantly.

Emergent expects the world’s co-working membership to more than double from 1.6 million in 2017 to 3.8 million by 2020. Expect those members to look more like big business than co-working’s startup roots.

This article originally appeared on

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