WeWork launches WeLive for shared living spaces

Ronny Kerr · April 4, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/447f

Now the "We" generation (or millennials) can pay WeWork for a place to work and a place to live

Millennials, the research says, don’t care to own things. So of course companies want to capitalize on that.

WeWork, which rose to fame on its platform for renting shared working spaces, announced today the launch of WeLive. Whereas WeWork is about renting “work” spaces, WeLive is all about renting “life” spaces—in other words, studios and apartments.

WeLive isn’t just a glorified, long-term Airbnb, however. The new service extends WeWork’s affinity for community and collaborative spaces to the living environment. Customers subscribing to the service will gain access to either a studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, and so on, along with access to communal spaces, including living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

It's on a month-to-month basis and includes other amenities, depending on the specific space.

The service will first be made available in New York City and Washington, D.C. An individual bed in the Lower Manhattan properties will start at $1,375 per month, while private units will start at $2,550. The lower price is on par with the lowest you could possibly find a studio priced for in Lower Manhattan.

And those cheap studios probably wouldn’t come with “all the coffee, tea, and beer you can drink.”

In his blog post announcing WeLive, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann explains some of the impetus behind the new offering:

We’re all pioneers in what we call the ‘We’ generation. Community and meaningful relationships mean more to us than physical space or material possessions. We crave new and exciting experiences with people who share the same passion for life and acceptance of each other.

Essentially, Neumann is trying to rebrand millennials in general as the “We” generation. That’s because it’s been oft-cited that this younger generation prefers experiences to material possessions.

According to a Harris Poll survey sponsored by Eventbrite, 78 percent of millennials would rather spend their money on a “desirable experience or event” than buy something desirable. The same study found that over half of millennials are spending more on events and live experiences than before.

WeWork already capitalized on this by renting out shared office spaces to individuals, but now it’s going a step further by literally renting out places to live. The company is doing its best to make the options harmonize as well, with the WeLive spaces chosen to be in close proximity to WeWork offices.

The news from WeWork today comes a month after the company closed another massive round of funding led by Legend Holdings and Hony Capital with participation from existing shareholders and new partners. Though the round was largely seen as fuel to help the company expand to China, the funds will likely help WeWork expand its new WeLive offering too.

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