Investors who put tens of billions of dollars into WeWork were hoping the co-working space startup would be the next Facebook. It hasn’t turned out that way. WeWork on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, serving as a painful lesson in how easy money fuels speculative investment.
Adam Neumann founded WeWork in 2010 amid a boom in so-called “sharing economy” startups such as Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. Mr. Neumann’s idea was to lease office space long-term, add millennial amenities such as hammocks, ping-pong tables and microbrews, and then sublease the shared space to startups at higher rates.
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