Upflex CEO Christophe Garnier reflects on Upflex’s partnership with WeWork.
This has been a rollercoaster of a few years for everyone in the commercial real estate and office space industries — and for the business world at large. 2023 more than ever has been a time of flux, of iteration, of rebalancing. Companies are finding that flexibility, agility, being asset light, are survival skills in the current landscape. And with all these many changes come challenges.
One company staring those challenges in the eye right now is WeWork. As many of you know, Upflex and WeWork launched a strategic partnership 18 months ago, when WeWork participated in our Series A financing and became one of our investors. Our goal in joining forces was to continue to build out an ecosystem of business and real estate leaders who share a common vision of a more flexible, more seamless future of work, where workspace is accessible on demand to employers and their teams, when and where they need it.
Our two companies have since been working together very closely; collaborating on a unique value proposition and user experience. Today what we’ve built together enables our clients and WeWork’s to all embrace a common global network of over 11,000 coworking locations in 135 countries and 1,600 cities around the world, from hundreds of the world’s leading workspace providers, WeWork spaces included.
This week of WeWork’s bankruptcy filing has been a difficult week for our friends there, certainly, but also a necessary step for the company to reorganize its operations. We support them in spirit in what they’re going through. Their contribution in the evolution of our industry has been major: They’ve built an unparalleled brand and experience. I’m confident the company will eventually emerge successfully from of this bankruptcy — as a leaner, stronger and much more efficient business, and one with a strong global brand.
In the meantime, I’ll note that Upflex’s operations remain strong and unaffected. While WeWork has been a valued partner and an investor in Upflex, our business model and financial structure are fully independent, and our partner’s restructuring has no impact on our day-to-day operations, growth or corporate governance.
Our partnership with WeWork remains robust and expanding — and we’re there for them through their transition.