Commentary

WeWork Unloading Meetup Amid Meet-Up Decline

Now might not be the best time to encourage folks to physically meet up. Perhaps for that reason, WeWork just agreed to sell Meetup -- its social network that urges people to do just that. 

No doubt, Meetup’s sale to AlleyCorp and other private investors was also motivated by the fire sale currently being held by SoftBank, WeWork’s majority owner. 

To survive the COVID-19 crisis, Softbank recently announced plans to upload a staggering $41 billion in assets.

WeWork, which is formally named The We Company, paid $156 million for Meetup in 2017. 

Sources tell Fortune  that the social network is now being sold for a fraction of that price. 

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Despite the diminished demand for an in-person organization tool, Meetup still boasts roughly 49 million members, and 230,000 organizers.

At last count, Meetup said all those organizers were facilitating an average of 15,000 in-person events, daily. However, it did not say when that count was taken, or how those numbers have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

It's not clear yet if Meetup plans to adjust its mission of encouraging physical encounters. Yet, upon announcing its sale to AlleyCorp, the network did emphasize its ability to host virtual gatherings, “during times of crisis.”

Regardless, Meetup CEO David Siegel said he remains focused on “real human connections.”

Meetup also offers a Pro version for businesses, which is currently used by approximately 1,500 clients, including Adobe and Twitter.

Last year, the unit said its enterprise unit experienced a 40% growth in business.

Further differentiating itself from Facebook and other social networks, Meetup says it doesn’t exploit users’ private data for the purpose of targeted advertising.

Rohit Dave, head of corporate development at WeWork, said the sale aligns with the company’s renewed focus on its core workspace business.

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