Aug 15, 2022 - Economy & Business

Adam Neumann nabs big VC dollars for his housing venture

Illustration of a factory conveyor belt with welcome mats on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Adam Neumann's next act is coming a bit more into focus — or at least capital. Flow, the residential housing company he's been quietly working on after departing WeWork under a cloud of failed ambitions, just raised a reported $350 million (at a valuation over $1 billion) from Andreessen Horowitz, per the NY Times.

Why it matters: It's got all the intrigue: A controversial founder, big money, and a hot sector. Not to mention it's already a unicorn.

Details: Details remain scarce. Yet as previously reported, Neumann has been buying up apartments in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville. The company will own and operate these properties, and also offer its services to new developments and other third parties.

  • Marc Andreessen, who is joining the company's board, wrote in a blog post that: "In a world where limited access to homeownership continues to be a driving force behind inequality and anxiety, giving renters a sense of security, community and genuine ownership has transformative power for our society."
  • Neumann is planning to make a significant personal investment in Flow, in the form of cash and real estate assets, the NYT reports.
  • Flow's website is a mostly blank page, but does note the company is "coming in 2023."

The intrigue: While Neumann is best known for starting an office company, this isn’t his first foray into housing.

  • WeWork's WeLive unit, a communal living setup, attempted to sell its residents much of the same things: "community," shared resources with other residents, and hip decor and vibes.
  • Of course, WeLive also ran into some issues; last year, its parent company parted ways with the division.
  • Another tantalizing element: Andreessen and his wife recently wrote to the city of Atherton, where they own a home, to oppose proposed multifamily housing (aka: apartments) zoning overlays, per The Atlantic.

The bottom line: We'll be watching very closely what Neumann does with Flow.

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