WeWork as the AWS of Commercial Real Estate
A lot has been written in the past few days about the upcoming WeWork IPO. I had linked to a few articles on Saturday and FTAlphaville has some pretty sarcastic but good coverage as well.
Yesterday then the always brilliant Stratechery came out with in interesting post. Ben Thompson thinks that WeWork could develop into something like AWS (for real estate) which now is repsonsible for most of Amazon’s profits. But he clearly acknowledges there are a lot of governance issues etc. etc. The “WeWork is like AWS” story is nothing new and is mostly pushed by WeWork itself and combined with what they think is the adressable market (hint: all commercial real estate globally) could justify almost any valuation.
WeWork’s actual product: Open Plan offices (for start-ups and wannabes)
What I have been missing in the whole discussion so far is a look at WeWork’s actual product which in my opinion is the following:
The subtitel claims that the book explains” Venture Capital and How to get it”. It is written by Scott Kupor, “employee Nr. 1 ” of Andreesen Horrowitz (A16Z), one of the most famous newer VC firms in Silicon Valley (Sand Hill Road is a street in Silicon Valley where many famous VCs have their offices).
One upfront remark: I do not recommend to invest in Venture Capital right now. The market is clearly overheated and the asset class is known to be very volatile although Warren Buffett’s Todd Combs seems to just have discovered Fintechs.
This post is ment as a “long-term perspective” view on the sector and not a buy recommendation in the current environment.
How to invest into Venture Capital as a Private Investor
Famous VC funds
Venture Capital, i.e. the industry funding (technology) start-ups is known that almost everything depends on relationships.
It is no secret that a few funds like Sequoia or Kleiner Perkins have produced outstanding returns but these funds are “invitation only”, there are little chances even for larger institutions to invest in them and for individuals without direct connections it is more or less impossible to get in.
The author Jason Calacanis seems to be a kind of “celebrity Angel Investor” in Silicon Valley, most famous for being on of the original Angel Investors of Uber. He started out as a blogger, founded some companies and then decided to become an early stage Angel Investor.