WeWork acquires New York social network Meetup for undisclosed sum

28 Nov 2017

WeWork office space in Old Street, London. Image: WeWork

WeWork is seeking to expand its value and this deal will certainly help it along the way.

Meetup is a 35m-member-strong social network that connects enthusiasts based on common interests like cooking, coding and mountain biking. Today (28 November), it announced it had been acquired by major co-working player WeWork. In a statement, Meetup said: “We’re still Meetup – same mission, same leaders, same team.

“But together, Meetup and WeWork will use technology to create new and innovative ways of building community and we will be able to reach many more people around the globe.”

WeWork and Meetup joining forces

The co-working firm and Meetup are aiming to bring together their respective assets of space and community with the acquisition. Meetup explained: “Over the past couple years, WeWork organically became the fastest-growing choice for where Meetup organisers choose to host their Meetups.

“WeWork creates community, like us. If you think of WeWork as a desk rental company, you haven’t been to a WeWork space and felt the pulse of community there.

“So this fall, when we started talking, it became obvious we could unlock possibilities for each other. WeWork’s resources and fast-growing spirit could propel Meetup to innovate and expand much faster.

“Bringing people together in ways that change their lives, and change the world, has been our motivation since the very beginning. This next step in our evolution means we’ll run harder and faster toward that vision than ever before.”

Community building

The deal means that Meetup members will have access to new bespoke spaces over time to host their gatherings, with the company having more than 15,000 meetups daily in 100 countries. WeWork boasts 10m square feet of space in 17 countries, so the agreement will create new potential for real-world community building.

CEO of the co-working behemoth, Adam Neumann, told Wired: “There are hundreds of thousands of Meetup organisers who are monthly payers who are already doing a great job. We can give the organisers a lot of tools.”

Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup, told The New York Times: “It’s like a magical puzzle that fits together.”

Investors in WeWork include SoftBank, which values the co-working firm at $20bn. The company has been steadily expanding its value-add this year, with acquisitions including Flatiron School, Fieldlens and Wavegarden, and investments in The Wing, a women’s co-working club.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects