24 March 2019
WeWork's latest acquisition, Conductor, is a digital marketing and advertising startup offering content intelligence service. Photo: WeWork
WeWork's latest acquisition, Conductor, is a digital marketing and advertising startup offering content intelligence service. Photo: WeWork

WeWork pursues shopping spree, buys marketing startup Conductor

Shared workspace giant WeWork announced it is acquiring a digital marketing startup, Conductor, its fifth known acquisition in the past seven months, tech news website Recode reports.

Conductor is a digital marketing and advertising startup. Its main product is Conductor Searchlight, a content intelligence platform using data to help clients advertise to specific groups of users.

The New York-based startup serves over 1,000 brands around the world, including major corporations like Citibank and Salesforce. WeWork began working with Conductor in 2016.

WeWork said Conductor will add to the services it offers beyond office space, without disclosing the terms of the acquisition.

“Conductor has made it easier for us to reach potential WeWork members who are looking for workspace. It’s also helped us get the word out about the services and amenities that we offer to companies of all sizes,” WeWork president and chief operating officer Artie Minson wrote in a company blog post.

In an email, Minson told TechCrunch that WeWork and Conductor are going to be “building a marketing cloud to go after the enterprise market”, although Conductor will continue to operate as an independent business.

Seth Besmertnik will continue to serve as Conductor’s chief executive officer, while seeking opportunities to bundle up its services for WeWork’s enterprise customers, including 22 percent of the Fortune 500, WeWork said.

The two companies can “help large companies expand their digital presence and deliver customer value through digital content”, particularly targeting the largest corporations in WeWork’s membership base, which are now the fastest growing part of the business.

Since receiving a massive US$4.4 billion investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank in August, WeWork has been on a shopping spree, averaging one acquisition every two months, Recode said. The terms of the purchases have not been disclosed.

Most of its acquisition targets are in sectors away from WeWork’s core business of renting offices. Its most recent acquisitions included coding education platform FlatIron School, and Meetup, a startup known for its educational networking events.

In August last year, WeWork acquired Unomy, an Israeli sales and marketing platform, and Singapore-based Spacemob, a co-working operator with plans to expand across Southeast Asia.

As WeWork’s largest investor, SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son said late last year that he wants WeWork founder Adam Neumann to grow the business “10 times bigger than your original plan”.

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