How do I invest in coworking?
We often hear from many people in conversations that ask us, “how do I get in on the success of the coworking movement?” Every week we see new headlines in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and local papers around the world that detail the latest expansion efforts of XYZ coworking space. The romanticism of coworking has reached new heights. No longer is it just about community but it’s now increasingly about making a buck (or $22billion). WeWork has certainly caused a stir and kudos to them for all the great work they’re doing promoting the evolution of the workplace.
So that brings me to how you can invest in coworking.
There are no publicly traded coworking brands. WeWork reportedly will soon IPO, but the jury is still out when that may be. Certainly, if you have an opportunity to participate in a future coworking brand IPO, get on it. The coworking industry is paced to continue to grow, in paramount amounts. That being said, in the meantime, you can best invest in coworking by either:
Investing in a local coworking brand
This may be the easiest way to support the coworking movement from a financial perspective. Find a local coworking operator that is successful in your area and sit down with their owners and chat about long-term goals. Perhaps your investment capital can help them grow and scale.
Investing in a coworking chain
Besides WeWork there are about 100 coworking chains that have aspirations of being “the next WeWork” or being in a category all to themselves. We’re seeing a lot of specialization in the coworking industry, so investing in a coworking chain that has a certain differentiator is probably the smartest move. They say that WeWork will begin acquiring competitive brands when they IPO, so a WeWork IPO may be your short-term exit strategy.
Create your own coworking brand
Work with a coworking consultant and develop your own coworking brand.
Asset Owner + Coworking Operator Joint Venture
Bring an existing coworking operator into a piece of real estate that you own. Landlord / Operator joint ventures are becoming increasingly common.