WeWork, a shared workspace company that has continuously ridden the line between tech and real estate, is about to begin selling its first software product.
The company recently announced that it will acquire Teem, a Salt Lake City-based office management software startup for $100 million, according to two sources provided to Wired. The six-year-old company has previously raised $21.5 million from investors, including Greycroft, NGP Capital and Origin Ventures, and aids primarily in allowing clients to book conference rooms or notify employees that they have visitors.
The acquisition will provide WeWork’s growing base of corporate customers with the software needed to aid in ensuring their spaces are more productive. The two companies share myriad customers, including General Electric, whose chief technological officer Jeff Monaco has been noted stating that Teem’s, “suite of workplace software tools helps make our day-to-day more seamless, so our employees can focus on innovating new projects, not trying to find a conference room.”
The acquisition extends the shift of WeWork from real estate chain to a software company with plans to aid in the design, construction and management of services on the behalf of enterprises become embedded in the workspace.
Teem will become part of WeWork’s Powered by We consulting business, which aids in the design and management of existing offices. Throughout its eight years as a coworking business, WeWork has amassed a large amount of office space and studied the manner in which thousands of businesses operate within these spaces. With this data, WeWork plans to position the company as the most knowledgeable regarding how jobs get done best.
WeWork’s members currently include Microsoft, Facebook and Starbucks. Over time, WeWork plans to sell these companies on the idea that their offices may offer more than mere space, as the possibility to provide more efficient, data-driven environments is now a guaranteed inclusion.
Although other companies sell advice about how to ensure employees are more productive through efficient software, including CBRE and Steelcase, WeWork’s advantage lays in its core business scale. The company contains 268,000 members in 287 locations across 23 continues around the world, which allows the company to manifest the information about how individuals use office space into recommendations pertaining to how companies may get more out of their office, in real-time.
In the event of an economic downturn, large companies may search for manners in which to aggressively cut costs, which WeWork anticipates. In this possibility, Powered by We may offer services that ensure companies may do more with less space by fitting more people into smaller officers that offer flexibility. In an interview with Wired, WeWork vice president noted the company may, “make better decisions about what space to not have anymore.”