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February 27, 2017

Softbank close to finalising $3bn investment in WeWork

The deal reportedly values the startup at over $20bn.

By CBR Staff Writer

Japanese tech giant Softbank is reportedly nearing a deal to invest more than $3bn in US office-space sharing start-up WeWork.

The investment is part of its efforts to diversify its presence beyond the technology and telecom sectors.

The Masayashi Son-led Softbank is considering a primary investment of $2bn in the New York-based WeWork, CNBC reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Softbank is looking to infuse more than $1bn in the secondary round. It may expand the size of the secondary investment to $2bn, taking the total funding close to $4bn.

If the deal goes through, WeWork’s valuation would increase to over $20bn, the publication reported.

WeWork delivers shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses. It offers shared workspaces to start-ups in the Americas, Europe, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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Recently, its co-founder Miguel McKelvey said that the company is planning to expand its presence to Beijing in May.

McKelvey was quoted by Reuters as saying that the firm will continue to raise capital to fund its expansion plans ahead of a possible public issue.

Last year, WeWork raised $700m from Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, Legend Holdings and property developer China Oceanwide Holdings and others.

In December 2016, Softbank said that it was investing $1bn in the US company OneWeb, which is building a network of satellites to provide global broadband access.

The investment is expected to create about 3,000 new jobs in the US in the next four years.

The SoftBank-led investment is designed to speed up the delivery of affordable, high-speed internet to rural areas across the US and emerging markets using a technology called Progressive Pitch.

Last year, SoftBank and the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia launched a $100bn tech fund.

READ MORE: SoftBank, Saudi Arabia create $100bn London based tech fund

Based in London and funded with $25bn from SoftBank and $45bn from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund over the next five years, the goal is to create a tech investment fund.

Apple has confirmed plans to invest $1bn in the Softbank technology fund, which will be managed by a subsidiary of Softbank in the UK.

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