According to a report in the New York Times, the firm is investing $350 million in Flow. This will give the startup a $1 billion valuation right out of the gate.
Flow sounds a lot like WeWork. The new startup boasts that it plans to “revolutionize” the residential rental real estate market. It will apparently do so using the many properties that Adam Neumann acquired in recent years.
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In 2019, Neumann was forced out of WeWork, the company which he founded in 2010. After a meteoric rise, the entrepreneur was brought down after allegations of serious drug use and sexual improprieties were made. WeWork was forced to deal with sexual harassment suits. It delayed its planned IPO and laid off many workers.
But Adam Neumann reportedly walked away with a $1.7 billion deal. And so he used this money to acquire real estate and invest in a few new ventures.
But if you have read or seen anything about Adam Neumann, then you know that while he might be a narcissist, he is nothing if not really good at being a salesman, at making the pitch and convincing people that he is right.
But Andreessen Horowitz is as serious and as important of financial firm as they come, so it must see something in Flow that makes it a worthwhile investment.
In a statement, Andreessen Horowitz explained the factors in society and the economy today that have altered the real estate market. The firm said that Flow will work within these new parameters. But in its press release, the company did not specify how exactly this would be done.
Sounding like an acolyte, Marc Andreessen said of Adam Neumann, “Adam is a visionary leader who revolutionized the second largest asset class in the world — commercial real estate — by bringing community and brand to an industry in which neither existed before.”
Ignoring the facts of history, Andreessen went on to praise WeWork. “Adam, and the story of WeWork, have been exhaustively chronicled, analyzed, and fictionalized – sometimes accurately,” he said. “For all the energy put into covering the story, it’s often underappreciated that only one person has fundamentally redesigned the office experience and led a paradigm-changing global company in the process: Adam Neumann. We understand how difficult it is to build something like this and we love seeing repeat-founders build on past successes by growing from lessons learned. For Adam, the successes and lessons are plenty and we are excited to go on this journey with him and his colleagues building the future of living.”