Launching in Australia Tuesday,WeWork is an American startup that provides desks and offices for rent, with a touch of Silicon Valley's "live to work" sparkle.
Although billed as one of the tech generation's biggest success stories, it arrives Down Under with lingering questions about its financial bona fides.
WeWork's first location is in Sydney's Martin Place, in the centre of the central business district. Far from the campus-style digs American startups might be familiar with, the space is in the old Commonwealth Bank of Australia premises, known as the "Moneybox Building."
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The office can house more than 700 members, the company said in a statement. Members will have access to free coffee, yoga and "fruit-infused water," as well as accessing privileges in the company's over-100 locations in 12 countries globally.
WeWork plans to open a second location in Sydney in November, in Pyrmont.
Founded in New York in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork sells itself as a physical and digital workspace that supports a range of modern businesses in need of flexibility.
To a rank outsider it may simply appear to be serviced-office company, but WeWork says its mission is to "create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living," complete with a digital networking app open to members.
Lounges in WeWork's Martin Place office space.
Although WeWork has achieved so-called "decacorn" status — the jargon for a startup worth more than $10 billion — with a reported $16 billion valuation (A$21 billion) after a funding round in March, it has had to tighten its belt in recent months.
In June, Bloomberg reported it planned to let go seven percent of its staff, followed by instructions from Neumann to get its spending under control amid rumours of cuts to profit forecasts. On the chopping block: A weekly breakfast of "salmon, eggs, bagels and yogurt."
The company is undergoing rapid international expansion, announcing plans to open in Germany and South Korea this year, as well as launching WeLive , which offers furnished apartments in New York and Washington D.C.
Murray Hurps, the CEO of not-for-profit co-working space Fishburners, predicted WeWork would find a receptive audience in Sydney.
"The commercial property market is extremely tight and demand is high," he told Mashable , adding that Fishburners is currently turning away 70 percent of applicants.
"The kind of companies starting today less and less need a lease for themselves. You need to be able to hire people quickly, to be able to move, and that's not compatible with traditional lease structures."