WeWork was once "valued" at $47 billion. Now it's bankrupt

WeWork, described as an "office-sharing company", filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. Once "valued" at $47bn, the company leased office space hoping to lease it to others for more money than it was paying. It tried and failed to go public, that requiring more scrutiny of its finances and officers than it could withstand, and then was crushed by the Covid pandemic.

"I am deeply grateful for the support of our financial stakeholders as we work together to strengthen our capital structure and expedite this process through the Restructuring Support Agreement," WeWork CEO David Tolley said in a press release. "We remain committed to investing in our products, services, and world-class team of employees to support our community.

WeWork has suffered one of the most spectacular corporate collapses in recent U.S. history over the past few years. Valued in 2019 at $47 billion in a round led by Masayoshi Son's SoftBank, the company tried and failed to go public five years ago.

The pandemic caused further pain as many companies abruptly ended their leases, and the economic slump that followed led even more clients to close their doors.

The absurdity of WeWork and its founder, Adam Neumann, were captured in a recent movie, WeCrashed, notable for being one in which Jared Leto is well-cast. Neumann was eventually gotten rid of, but walked off with a reported $1.7 billion.