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article imageCo-working provider WeWork to acquire Meetup social platform

By James Walker     Nov 29, 2017 in Technology
WeWork has announced it will purchase online community platform Meetup in its latest major acquisition. WeWork is reportedly valued at $20bn and is a leader in the co-working space market. Meetup aims to "use the internet to get people off the internet."
The deal was first reported by Crunchbase News and later confirmed by WeWork CEO Adam Neumann. In a blog post, Neumann said it will help WeWork further its mission by "bringing people together." The company hasn't disclosed how much it will pay to Meetup.
Meetup CEO and co-founder Scott Heiferman informed employees of the acquisition during an internal meeting. The company, founded in 2002, provides an online platform for people to organise real-world group events. An early pioneer in the space, it has suffered since at the hands of larger social media services such as Facebook and its Groups feature.
Under the arrangement, Heiferman will continue to lead Meetup with a view to growing the service. During the internal meeting, he reportedly said the acquisition will allow Meetup to expand to twice its current size. It currently has over 35 million members and has helped create over 300,000 offline meetings between individuals.
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It's not yet clear how Meetup will be integrated into WeWork's business. Neumann said that WeWork and Meetup already have a history of collaboration. By acquiring the Meetup platform, WeWork could use it to help bring people together inside its existing co-working spaces. Over 100,000 people have attended a Meetup event at a WeWork location this year.
"In many ways, WeWork and Meetup have already been collaborating. Since 2013, when we opened, WeWork Soho West, we've regularly welcomed Meetup groups to try out our new spaces and amenities," said Neumann. "With Meetup, there's even more opportunity to bring people together around the things that matter most to them. We couldn't be more excited to have them on our team."
The acquisition follows a $4.4 billion funding round completed by WeWork this summer. It has used the additional resources to purchase several companies within the co-working and enterprise digitisation markets. These include Fieldlens, a communication utility for construction companies, and marketing platform Unomy.
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