WeWork takes on Mastercard as new enterprise customer
- WeWork, the shared office space startup, has teamed with Mastercard, reports Axios. The two companies will also operate a five-month program for startups that will provide free office space, mentorship and access to payment technology that Mastercard is in the midst of testing.
- WeWork is known for renting out monthly office space to startups, but is really focused on finding large companies as its customers, says Axios. Large companies have the stability that allows them to order large volumes of desks for short periods of time.
- "Enterprise" customers, those with 1,000 or more employees, make up 30% of WeWork's occupied office space, a number that grew by 90% between 2016 and 2017.
WeWork has carved out an unusual niche for itself by providing temporary office space, while offering large, blue chip enterprises a much-needed service that allows flexibility in their operations. The multi-billion dollar deal WeWork cut with Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications and technology firm, was another smart move. Snagging a big enterprise company helped WeWork set the tone for future success as a niche.
As a budding startup, WeWork underwent a wave of layoffs to make sure it have the best staffing level to operate its business. Adjusting staff sizing made it attractive to investors so it could continue its growth.
Either way, WeWork's presence reveals the growing interest in alternative office formats. More companies are opting out of traditional offices requiring employees to be present each work day, and instead building "shareable" office spaces that employees can choose to work in or not. It's not clear how successful these attempts are just yet, but as more employees call for work-life flexibility, it's unlikely the trend will be going away any time soon.