Updated: When Adam Neumann on Monday revealed his new venture WeWork-ifying the residential real estate business, backed by a $350 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, the announcement was long on the hype and lacking in detail.
Forbes learned that the company, Flow, plans to launch a digital wallet capable of storing cryptocurrencies – among other currencies, including US dollars – in addition to previously announced property management software.
Davidson Goldin, a spokesperson for Flow, said the planned digital wallet cannot be used to make rental payments for apartments managed by Flow using the cryptocurrency it can store, but can be used for outside purchases like any other wallet.
Goldin confirmed Flow’s plans for a portfolio after Forbes learned this month of the company’s recruiting efforts, where a recruiter was promoting a position at a “groundbreaking company that will be one of the largest blockchain implementations in the economy, involving an approach to multifaceted which will be led by Adam Neumann (ex-CEO of WeWork).
In a LinkedIn message sent to a potential product manager candidate, a recruiter for the job said that “Adam is building a next-generation multifamily property management system with a proprietary payment system,” adding that the system “will include a full financial service wallet, tokenized rewards program and crypto payment methods.
Flow spokesperson Goldin said Forbes the job description was largely wrong and should not have been distributed. He also gave an interview to Robert Gade, an employee of Coda Recruitment who was recruiting on behalf of Flow. “I took some information I gathered, working with chunks, and the job description I posted wasn’t accurate to what we were looking for,” Gade said. Forbes. “I made a mistake and distorted the work.”
Instead, Goldin provided Forbes with another product manager job description that made no mention of “crypto” or “blockchain,” but said the new hire would be needed to “analyze the tech ecosystem and services in the multi-family industry.”
Goldin said Flow would not receive crypto payments for renting out its apartments, nor would the company be “one of the largest blockchain implementations in the economy.” However, he added that a tokenized rewards program from Flow could involve cryptocurrency.
Regarding Flow’s work with Coda, Goldin said, “We don’t discuss the status of vendor relationships with the media.”
News of a digital wallet offering highlights Neumann’s ambitions in residential real estate with his new venture. Since Neumann was ousted as CEO of WeWork, after raising $20 billion and failing to take the company public, the enigmatic entrepreneur has amassed a vast multi-family real estate portfolio, buying properties on markets secondary like Nashville, Tennessee and Norwalk, Connecticut, while investing in adjacent businesses like property management software company Alfred.
Mentions of crypto-related work appear on the bulletin board of FOL Management, a real estate company that appears to be linked to Flow (Chris Hill, a former chief product officer at WeWork and brother-in-law of Neumann, is president and director of the operation). FOL is currently recruiting web3 engineers with “previous experience with one or more open L1 and L2 blockchains” who will help “redefine the economic experience for tenants” by “leveraging new technologies”. (After this story was published, the job board disappeared from the website).
Neumann has tested the waters of cryptocurrency before, co-founding a startup called Flowcarbon, which recently raised $70 million in a funding round also led by Andreessen Horowitz. The startup intends to tokenize carbon credits, but recently delayed a token sale citing poor cryptocurrency market conditions.
In a blog post on Monday, Marc Andreessen wrote that his venture capital firm backed Flow because he saw Neumann’s company as a “direct attack” on the current housing crisis, led by our country “creating households faster than we build houses”. ”
Without stating exactly what Flow’s business goal is, he dropped several clues about the problems he’s trying to solve: “You can pay rent for decades and still own zero capital – nothing,” he said. he writes. Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment.