What is WeWork founder Adam Neumann’s new venture Flow?

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But who exactly is he – and what will his new company do?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Adam Neumann wants to revolutionize the rental market (Image: Getty Images)

Who is Adam Neumann?

Adam Neumann, 43, is an Israeli-born businessman.

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Raised in Tel Aviv, he briefly relocated to the United States before returning home.

He served in the Israel Navy for several years, attaining the rank of captain.

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After studying at a New York business school, Neumann founded several smaller companies before founding WeWork in 2010 with his business partner Miguel McKelvey.

The couple raised more than $10 billion to fund the deal, which was valued at $47 billion at the time.

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Neumann served as CEO.

The work culture at WeWork has been the subject of heavy criticism and lawsuits under the leadership of Adam Neumann (Image: Getty Images)

While outwardly everything seemed to be going smoothly, staff have since referred to it as some kind of sect.

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In a famous incident that demonstrated the extent of industrial excesses at the company, Neumann threw a 72-hour party for 8,000 employees that included a set by singer Lorde, beatboxing workshops and lakeside meditation sessions.

The company collapsed in 2019 when a disastrous IPO exposed major problems with WeWork’s finances, and its valuation fell to around $10 billion.

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It’s now worth around $4 billion (£3.3 billion).

Adam Neumann was accused of yelling at employees when his favorite tequila wasn’t available (Picture: Getty Images)

Lawsuits have also been filed against the company for sexual harassment and age discrimination.

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Neumann was ousted with a golden farewell of around a billion dollars.

Since 2019, the entrepreneur has been selling real estate and has worked on several other ventures, including FlowCarbon – a crypto-based carbon trading platform.

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However, this endeavor has run into trouble in recent months amid the widespread cryptocurrency crash.

Neumann was also described by Andreessen as the only person to have “transformed the office experience, while leading a paradigm-shifting global company”.

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Andreessen Horowitz was an early supporter of Facebook (Image: Getty Images)

What is Flow?

Flow is a real estate rental company expected to launch in 2023 but is already valued at $1 billion.

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While exact details are still fairly sparse, it’s expected to act as a landlord and rental agency of sorts — while also offering a social aspect to tenants.

It will operate 3,000 homes purchased by Adam Neumann in the US cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville, and will also offer its services to new builders and landlords.

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Neumann is also reportedly planning a major cash investment in Flow.

Adam Neumann has bought thousands of properties in Miami (Image: Getty Images)

As with WeWork, the idea seems to be to create a standardized service and community under one branded banner.

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Neumann received around $350 million from Andreessen Horowitz – the largest amount the venture capitalist has ever given to a company in a single round of financing.

Company co-founder Marc Andreessen is expected to join Flow’s board of directors.

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Andreessen said in a blog post on Andreessen Horowitz’s website that he is interested in the startup because he believes the rental market can be disrupted — particularly when it comes to its social side.

Marc Andreessen has said Adam Neumann’s new venture will disrupt rentals (Image: Getty Images)

He says it’s now even truer that post-Covid-19 people are working from home more.

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“Many people will live in places far removed from their place of work, and many more will move into a hybrid environment,” wrote Andreessen.

“As a result, they will experience far fewer, if any, social bonds and friendships in the office that local workers enjoy.

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“For many of these people, increased screen time and less face-to-face interaction will lead to challenges not just limited to work, such as alienation and loneliness. This is not a good path for anyone and needs to be addressed head-on now.”

Andreessen also indicated that Flow would seek to address the issue of tenants not getting an investment benefit from paying rent.

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“You can pay rent for decades and still have zero equity — nothing,” he said.

“In a world where limited access to homeownership continues to be a driving force behind inequality and fear, providing tenants with a sense of security, community and real ownership has transformative power for our society.”

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Who is Flow supporter Andreessen Horowitz?

Andreessen Horowitz is a Silicon Valley venture capital firm considered royalty by entrepreneurs and startups.

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Venture capitalists are individuals or companies that make risky investments in new or rapidly expanding businesses – particularly in the technology space.

Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have previously relied on venture capital to launch Tesla and Facebook, respectively.

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The latter was backed by Andreessen Horowitz, who has also invested in Twitter, Airbnb, Skype, Foursquare and Coinbase.

It was founded in 2009 by American businessmen Marc Andreeessen and Ben Horowitz.

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Ben Horowitz is co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz (Image: Getty Images)

Andreessen started out as a computer scientist before helping launch the Netscape web browser in the 1990s.

After AOL bought the company for more than $4 billion in 1999, Andreessen co-founded software service provider Opsware, which was sold to Hewlett Packard (HP) in 2007 for $1.6 billion.

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Ben Horowitz also co-founded Opsware and worked under Andreessen at Netscape.

After serving as CEO and President of Opsware, he spent a year in senior positions at HP before founding Horowitz with business partner Andreessen.

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The company’s website states that it has assets of $35 billion and aims to support entrepreneurs and startups in areas such as healthcare, crypto and gaming.

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