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WeWork owner could float at less than half the valuation it secured from a big backer just a few months ago: Media reports

We Company is said to be considering an IPO valuation of around $20 billion, having achieved a $47 billion valuation in a private fundraising round in January

IPO forklift
WeWork is backed by Japan’s SoftBank, which has invested or committed to invest $10.65 billion since 2013

WeWork owner The We Company (PRIVATE-NA:WE) could float at less than half the valuation it secured from a big backer just a few months ago, according to media reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the We Company was considering an initial public offering (IPO) valuation of around $20 billion, which it said would be less than half the $47 billion valuation it achieved in a private fundraising round in January.

WeWork, which was rebranded We Company earlier this year, is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, which has invested or committed to invest $10.65 billion in the company since 2017.

READ: WeWork posts wider loss in highly-awaited IPO prospectus

The New York-based company, which rents out workspace to clients under short-term contracts, reported a loss of more than $900 million in the first half of 2019, up 25% from a year earlier, even as its revenue doubled to $1.54 billion.

Worries about its IPO valuation have reflected the mounting losses and concerns about how its business model would survive an economic downturn. The company is also looking to go public against a choppy market backdrop amid the US trade war with China and fears of a global recession.

Other high-profile IPOs this year, such as those of ride-hailing companies Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT), have also fared poorly amid investor skepticism.

Uber completed its IPO in May at a valuation of $82.4 billion, well below the $120 billion bankers had told the company it could be worth in 2018.

WeWork is planning to kick off its IPO roadshow as soon as next week, Bloomberg News has reported, with the company targeting a share sale of about $3.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter told the newswire in July.

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