Japanese tech giant SoftBank is reportedly considering an investment of over $1bn in US office-space sharing start-up WeWork.
WeWork delivers shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that WeWork is currently valued at about $17bn and SoftBank’s valuation of the company is anticipated to be at or above the proposed figure.
Sources told the WSJ that an agreement is far from certain this time around due to concerns that WeWork’s stock is too expensive and that the office firm doesn’t qualify as a tech company.
SoftBank also recently held negotiations with Uber Technologies. There is no clarity at this point whether the Japanese firm will invest in the ride sharing company.
Last year, SoftBank and the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia launched a $100bn 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.
SoftBank invested $1bn in the US company OneWeb, which is building a network of satellites to provide global broadband access.
Apple has confirmed plans to invest $1bn in the Softbank technology fund, which will be managed by a subsidiary of Softbank in the UK.