Baruch alumnus Adam Neumann to launch Flow

Mia Gindis, Opinions Editor

Baruch College alumnus Adam Neumann steered clear of the spotlight after being publicly ousted in 2019 from WeWork Inc., the communal work space company that he cofounded. Now three years later, he’s making a splashy comeback.

After raising about $350 million from Silicon Valley-based capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Neumann is launching Flow, an in-the-works real estate startup to be based in New York.

The firm’s name carries much weight in the investment world, as many are backing it as a powerful vote of confidence on the once scorned Israeli-American entrepreneur and his new company.

Andreessen Horowitz’s investment cost several hundreds of millions of dollars, according to three individuals with insider knowledge of the deal, as reported by The New York Times.

The move marks the firm’s largest individual signed check for a company in its early stages. As a result, Flow  will be valued at more than $1 billion before it even gets off the ground, and this prediction has incited outrage among many venture capitalists.

“THIS IS DISGUSTING,” Switch CEO Kate Braddock tweeted. @a16z’s largest check going to a (straight white male) founder of one of the most toxic companies we’ve seen. Firms like this perpetuate over and over again a traditional system that favors a small, homogenous set of founders.”

Braddock referenced Neumann’s time as the CEO of WeWork, in which he was rumored to have contributed to a “frat-like” corporate culture that enabled frequent smoking and drinking in offices.

Under Neumann’s leadership, WeWork was also sued for sexual misconduct on multiple occasions.

WeWork’s directors ultimately voted to remove Neumann as CEO following the release of reports that investors were concerned about his leadership style. This forced the company to delay plans to go public.

While details of its plan are not public at this time, Neumann’s new company Flow aims to launch a real estate management software and a digital wallet that can store different currencies, including the U.S. dollar and cryptocurrency.

The wallet will also offer additional financial services, such as permitting users to connect a bank account, unnamed sources acquainted with the matter told Bloomberg.

Flow spokesperson Davidson Goldin added that the planned digital wallet cannot be utilized to make rent payments for Flow-managed apartments with the cryptocurrency it stores. However, it can be used for outside purchases.

Much of the details of Flow’s plan were brought to light through a LinkedIn message sent from a recruiter to a potential product manager candidate.

“Adam is building a next generation multi-family property management system with a proprietary payment system,” the message said, according to Forbes.

The recruiter added that the system “will include a full financial services wallet, a tokenized reward program and crypto payment methods.”

Goldin has since claimed that this job description misrepresented the nature of the role and the company.

He provided Forbes with an updated product manager job description, which omits any mention of cryptocurrency but instead emphasizes that the new hire will be asked to “analyze the technology ecosystem and services in the multifamily industry.”