Back in July 2018, WeWork was coming off a multi-billion funding round that valued the company at $40 billion. As the owner of 10% of the company's equity, Adam Neumann's net worth at the time was $4 billion (pre-tax, on paper). So what does a freshly-minted multi-billionaire do to celebrate his success? He buys a ridiculous mansion, of course!
Actually, Adam had already bought several mansions following previous funding rounds. As of this writing, he owns at least $90 million worth of real estate. He was able to buy these mansions thanks to a personal financial windfall fueled by private stock sales and debt taken in the form of personal lines of credit and real estate mortgages. He had a $500 million line of credit with J.P. Morgan alone, backed by his multi-billion stake in WeWork.
That was two years ago. And what a crazy two years it as been!
In late 2019 WeWork began circling the drain. It's private valuation sunk from $40 billion to $10 billion to potentially as low as $2.9 billion. At what point there were very real rumors (backed by the company's penchant for burning around $233 million in cash every MONTH), that WeWork would not be viable sometime in the first quarter of 2020.
Neumann is currently battling his former financial backer, SoftBank, after the Japanese conglomerate walked away from an investment package that would have allowed the former CEO to sell around $1 billion worth of his remaining shares.
As of this writing, it's unclear how Adam is going to satisfy what is presumably millions of dollars in debt obligations that were likely backed by stock that is now worth zero. Or maybe he has plenty of cash sitting around from all those private stock sales and he'll be absolutely fine.
Either way, we wanted to examine one of his homes in particular. As we mentioned, this home was purchased in July 2018. The price paid was $21.4 million. The property had been listed for $25 million.
What's interesting to me about this house is that it's located way across the country in leafy Marin County, California, 15 miles north of San Francisco. That's fairly far from WeWork's corporate headquarters and Neumann's other primary residences. Why did he buy this house? Maybe he bought the home for its unique history.
Designed by famed architect Sim Van der Ryn, for many years this property was the home of the late music promoter Bill Graham, mastermind of the live touring apparatus behind bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Huey Lewis and Janis Joplin.
In the early 2000s, the property was leveled and replaced with one of the most eco-friendly private properties in the US.
The home features is a guitar-shaped living room, 13,600 square-feet of living space, seven bedrooms, pool (with slide), spa and orchard.
Check out this video tour. It's very impressive:
Earlier today it was confirmed that Adam had quietly listed the house for sale for $27.5 million.
Unclear if Adam ever even set foot in the house. For much of the time he owned it, he has been embroiled in controversy after controversy. Not sure when he would have had time to take a relaxing vacation to the Bay Area suburbs.