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WeWork CEO Talks Revenue, Funding and Community

Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2016Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2016
Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2016 MONDAY JULY 11TH, 2016: ASPEN, CO 5:25 PM A NEW WAY TO WORK Adam Neumann, CEO, WeWork Rebekah Neumann, Chief Brand Officer, WeWork Interviewer: Andrew Nusca, Fortune PHOTOGRAPH BY STUART ISETT/Fortune Brainstorm TECHPhotograph by Kevin Moloney — Fortune Brainstorm TECH

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At TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference Monday, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann confirmed that the company is on track to hit a $1 billion “revenue run rate” this year. That includes revenue from renting out office spaces, its nascent WeLive co-living business, partnerships with building management companies, and “digital memberships.” He noted that the company has 40% margins in its U.S. business and tends to “hover around Ebitda-break-even,” though it is investing heavily in growth right now. On July 1, WeWork will open its first building in India.

WeWork still has a tricky existential question to answer. Recall Neumann’s answer to the question of whether WeWork is a real estate company, a tech company, or a services company from one year ago at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference: It is neither, he said at the time. WeWork is a “community company.”

Neumann is still resisting labels for WeWork, but on Monday he said he is reconsidering the community shtick. “We used to say we are a community company, but we are starting to figure out now that we ourselves are discovering what is the best kind of company that we should be,” he said. He believes WeWork blends the best of mission-driven non-profit companies with for-profit companies. “We want to be a company that sets an example that lives by our own words,” he said.

Neumann didn’t comment on reports that his company is planning a monster $3 billion round of funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, but he did address concerns about the $1 billion in secondary funding that the deal will reportedly include. (Moderator Connie Loizos cited a now-deleted tweet from a venture investor, who sniped, “Kiss goodbye whatever discipline and grit was left in WeWork. $1 billion secondary is corruption defined.”) Neumann said WeWork is seven years old, and wants to reward its early employees. “It’s important to think, ‘Is there something we can do for employees?’ … I think there is a way to do it correctly,” he said.