Neumann!

adam neumann
There’s a surreal poetry to Adam Neumann’s apparent efforts to pluck his old baby, WeWork, out of bankruptcy—a company he exited, of course, with a nearly billion-dollar pay package while it torched tens of billions of investors’ money. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for WeWork
William D. Cohan
February 11, 2024

One name that hasn’t yet shown up among the rumored investors behind Adam Neumann’s half-hearted effort to acquire his old baby, WeWork, out of bankruptcy, is the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. Alex Spiro, Neumann’s attorney at Quinn Emanuel, has already name-dropped my friend Dan Loeb, at Third Point, even though Loeb has since described his involvement in this ironic effort as merely “preliminary.” Neumann and Spiro, who is also Elon Musk’s attorney and certainly not a bankruptcy expert, have supposedly also been in touch with Seth Klarman, the secretive powerhouse at Baupost, the family office investing conglomerate in Boston, according to the Financial Times. (Klarman did not comment on the suggestion that he was part of Neumann’s financing.) But no Andreessen…

This absence, or at least this public absence, is the foremost of many, many mounting curiosities around this proposed deal. Andreessen, of course, is Neumann’s biggest backer, publicly and privately. His venture behemoth, Andreessen Horowitz, a.k.a. a16z, wrote a $350 million check to Neumann, the largest in the firm’s history, for a stake in Flow Global Holdings LLC, his ambiguous, quasi-REIT, post-WeWork enterprise. On the surface, Flow is a collection of 4,000 apartments in cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, and Atlanta. But with this inventory, Neumann is hoping to transform rental housing by (inexplicably) giving tenants equity in Flow in exchange for slightly elevated monthly payments, thereby making the experience more community-oriented and somehow meaningful.