Nov 16, 2021 - Economy & Business

Conductor raises $150 million, two years after WeWork buyback

Illustration of a reset button.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conductor, a New York-based SEO and enterprise marketing company that bought itself back from WeWork in 2019, raised $150 million from Bregal Sagemount.

Why it matters: This is an ad-tech phoenix rising from the ashes of WeWork's fire sales. It's also a strong return for Conductor employees, all of whom received equity via the buyback.

Details: The funding is split around 50/50 between primary and secondary shares, at a post-money valuation of around $525 million.

History: WeWork paid $114 million in 2018 to buy Conductor, which was co-founded by a college classmate of Adam Neumann, but sold it for just $3.5 million in proceeds.

The bottom line: "The WeWork situation was harder internally with employees than with customers, because in the market there was never really any business integration. But the trauma for our people of going in and then going out again, and then getting hit by a pandemic, was a lot," Conductor co-founder and CEO Seth Besmertnik told Axios.

  • "We promised employees that we'd get them some liquidity after two years, so that's what we're doing," Besmertnik added.

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