WeWork is a real estate business that acts like a technology company. It’s backed by powerful Silicon Valley venture capitalists, hires data scientists and DevOps engineers and sports a valuation that’s about 20 times annual revenue.
John Arenas is taking a very different approach with his co-working business Serendipity Labs. Founded in 2011, a year after the launch of WeWork, Serendipity is sticking with investors who live, sleep and breathe real estate.
Serendipity, based in Rye, New York — 30 miles north of WeWork’s Manhattan headquarters — has just raised $11.3 million from investors including billionaire Craig Hall, one of the top real estate developers in Dallas. The company disclosed the financing in a filing on Monday.
“All of our investment to date has been from strategic capital and not venture capital,” Arenas said, in an interview with CNBC. The business is focused on the “shift from long-term conventional leases to flexible, variable real estate. To do that you need to find your way a bit,” he said.
Source: Ari Levy, “Why WeWork competitor Serendipity Labs is ignoring VCs and taking money from real estate investors,” CNBC