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Portrait of Adam Neumann

Adam Neumann launches housing startup Flow as "first venture since WeWork"

The co-founder of co-working company WeWork Adam Neumann is launching a new venture called Flow that is aimed at transforming the rental housing market in the US.

Though the startup's intentions are still unclear, it is believed to be focusing on creating community-driven and branded residential units, reported The New York Times.

Flow is being established three years after Neumann's exit from WeWork and six years after the launch of his short-lived rental business called WeLive.

Its simple website currently only features a simple landing page with the words "Live Life in Flow" and a launch date of 2023.

However, it has been revealed that Silicon Valley venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) has invested approximately $350 million in the company.

Flow responds to US housing crisis

In an announcement, co-founder of A16z Marc Andreessen suggested that Flow could help transform "the entire value chain, from the way buildings are purchased and owned to the way residents interact with their buildings to the way value is distributed among stakeholders."

Andreessen implied that it responds to the nation's "housing crisis" and "changing dynamics" of its residential real estate, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In a world where limited access to home ownership continues to be a driving force behind inequality and anxiety, giving renters a sense of security, community, and genuine ownership has transformative power for our society," said Andreessen.

"When you care for people at their home and provide them with a sense of physical and financial security, you empower them to do more and build things. Solving this problem is key to increasing opportunity for everyone."

Neumann is believed to have purchased more than 3,000 apartments in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville ahead of the launch, as reported by the New York Times.

Neumann latest tech entrepreneur moving into real estate

The WeWork co-founder is the latest tech entrepreneur moving into real estate. In his announcement, Andreessen suggested it was a "natural" next step for Neumann.

"We think it is natural that for his first venture since WeWork, Adam returns to the theme of connecting people through transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes," Andreessen wrote.

Earlier this year, another former WeWork executive, Roni Bahar, announced his collaboration with BIG founder Bjarke Ingels and former Sidewalk Labs model lab head Nick Chim to establish Nabr.

Described as a "consumer-first housing company", Nabr is striving to tackle "systemic" failures of housing and will see a range of affordable, modular homes built using mass-timber.

Elsewhere, Apple's former design director BJ Siegel has founded a mass-timber housing company named Juno that aims to "bring productisation to the built environment".

The portrait of Neumann is by TechCrunch via Wikimedia Commons.

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