Andreessen Horowitz invests $350 million in Adam Neumann’s Flow

Andreessen Horowitz is betting big on Adam Neumann’s return to the real estate startup game.

A16z co-founder Marc Andreessen wrote in a blog post on Monday that the company would partner with Neumann on a new startup called Flow, which focuses on the residential real estate market. Neumann was famous expelled as the leader of WeWork in 2019 after the company withdrew its IPO plans, and his personal and professional antics — wading barefoot, investing in a wave pool startup — provided fodder for books and an Apple TV+ series.

“We think it’s only natural,” wrote Andreessen, “that for his first company since WeWork, Adam returns to the theme of connecting people by transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time. time: their homes. Residential real estate – the largest asset class in the world – is exactly ready for this change.”

Although the blog post did not reveal the size of the investment, The New York Times brought it in for $350 million at a $1 billion valuation. The deal is the largest individual check a16z has written to a startup, according to the Times. Andreessen will also join Flow’s board of directors.

Despite that big check, details about Neumann’s new company are scarce. Its website only says “Live Life in Stream. Coming in 2023”, with an email sign-up link. Andreessen’s blog post hinted that the company’s vision is to “rethink the entire value chain, from how buildings are purchased and owned to how residents interact with their buildings. down to how the value is distributed among the stakeholders”.

Neumann has “quietly acquired controlling interests in more than 4,000 apartments valued at over $1 billion in Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Tennessee, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and other US cities.” The Wall Street Journal reported in January.

Andreessen wrote that the country’s housing is in crisis. “In a world where limited access to home ownership continues to be a driver of inequality and anxiety, giving tenants a sense of safety, community and true ownership has transformative power for our society. .”

This statement comes a week after Atlantic first reported that Andreessen had contacted officials in the ultra-wealthy Bay Area town of Atherton to oppose a plan to add multi-family housing. Andreessen was among a list of Silicon Valley luminaries fighting against the plan, The New York Times reported.

The size of a16z’s check is sure to raise eyebrows, especially given Neumann’s history. He was ousted from WeWork – which investors once valued at $47 billion – after the failed company IPO put his leadership decisions and the company’s huge losses under the microscope. WeWork has since gone public through a SPAC and is valued at around $4 billion.

Earlier this year, A16z invested in Flowcarbon, a startup co-founded (but not directly managed) by Neumann that plans to use blockchain technology to track carbon credits.

“We understand how difficult it is to build something like this and love to see repeat founders build on past successes by building on lessons learned,” Andreessen wrote.

About Marco C. Nichols

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