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Staff members of Meetup are at work in the company's New York office. Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

WeWork has agreed to acquire Meetup, a New York-based social network that helps organize offline meetings around common interests. No financial terms are being disclosed, but a source says it's valued at around $200 million (including employee retention incentives). WeWork disputes that price-tag, but declined to provide an alternate figure.

Meetup had raised around $18 million in venture funding since 2002, from firms like DFJ, Omidyar Network, Allen & Co. and Union Square Ventures.

  • Why it's a BFD: Because WeWork has been on a shopping spree in 2017, as it seeks to expand its value-add beyond beer taps and an almost impossible to believe enthusiasm. Other acquisitions this year have included Flatiron School (coding training), Fieldlens (mobile collaboration) and Unomy (sales & marketing). It also invested in The Wing (women's co-working club) and purchased the former Lord & Taylor store on 5th Ave. in Manhattan (which will serve as its new HQ).
  • Bottom line: "WeWork's roughly 10 million square feet of leased office space, spread out over more than 170 locations in 16 countries, is used primarily during the day. By contrast, meetups happen primarily outside of working hours... Already, roughly 100,000 people have attended a Meetup gathering at a WeWork location, according to the companies." — Michael de la Merced, NYT

Go deeper

DHS temporarily suspends use of horse patrol in Del Rio

U.S. Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas a DHS spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: The suspension comes after images showing border patrol agents whipping at and charging their horses at migrants surfaced earlier in the week, prompting widespread criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Southwest drought is worst on record, NOAA finds

In a stark new report, a team of NOAA and independent researchers found the 2020-2021 drought across the Southwest is the worst in the instrumental record, which dates to 1895.

Why it matters: They also concluded that global warming is making it far more severe, primarily by increasing average temperatures, which boosts evaporation.

2 hours ago - World

Taliban: Executions and strict punishments will return

Taliban fighters in Kabul. Photo: Oliver Weiken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Strict punishments such as hand amputations and executions will return in Afghanistan, one of the Taliban's founders said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Despite attempting to project a new image, the Taliban remain committed to a hard-line, conservative ideology, including harsh ruling tactics.