WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann. Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images.

The Wall Street Journal last night reported that SoftBank Vision Fund is "in discussions to take a majority stake in WeWork," the co-working space giant in which SoftBank last year acquired a 20% stake for $4.4 billion.

The bottom line: Sources say that the two sides remain in negotiations over a new investment, but that control is off the table (at least for now).

WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann originally was amenable to a deal whereby he'd lose at least short-term control of the company, but with the ability to regain control were WeWork to hit certain revenue milestones (e.g., some sort of clawback). Now, however, the talks involve Neumann retaining control, although the ultimate structure could be pretty convoluted.

But no final agreement is signed or very close to being signed, and there may even be talks with other parties or with SoftBank about alternate structures.

SoftBank basically wants to accelerate its "gain market share at all costs" strategy, which has been talked about inside of WeWork since the day SoftBank first invested.

  • This is similar to what the Japanese giant has employed at other Vision Fund portfolio companies, and a hot topic among VCs has become if it can really work beyond the consumer services sector (particularly in enterprise software, where Vision Fund has been taking a hard look).

WeWork bonds, which recently hit their lowest mark since early June, got a small bump from the report, reapproaching 96 cents on the dollar as of earlier today.

I'm still wondering how the Jamal Khashoggi situationwhich intensified last night — would play into WeWork's willingness to give Saudi-backed Vision Fund an even bigger stake.

  • In that vein, it's worth noting that Sam Altman (Y Combinator), Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz) and Dan Doctoroff (Google's Sidewalk Labs) reportedly joined an advisory board for the Saudi government's $500 billion mega-city project, called Neom.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 19,412,292 — Total deaths: 722,066 — Total recoveries — 11,773,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 4,945,795 — Total deaths: 161,456 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.
2 hours ago - Health

Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A growing body of research has made it clear that airborne transmission of the coronavirus is possible.

Why it matters: That fact means indoor spaces can become hot spots. Those spaces also happen to be where most business and schooling takes place, so any hope for a return to normality will require better ways of filtering indoor air.

The silver linings of online school

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Online learning can be frustrating for students, teachers and parents, but some methods are working.

The big picture: Just as companies are using this era of telework to try new things, some principals, teachers and education startups are treating remote learning as a period of experimentation, too.