WeWork's main business mission is to maintain its dizzying growth rate, even as it continues to lose money, according to its latest quarterly financial results.
It is a strategy that will soon be tested by investors, as the collaborating company moves towards a potential initial public offering. And WeWork could face great skepticism if the rock market debut of Uber, another technology company that burns money, provides some guidance.
WeWork said on Wednesday it had lost $ 264 million in the first three months of the year. While that was a bit less than last year's loss, it reflects the company's willingness to continue investing money in its global expansion.
The growth can be seen in its total revenues, which were $ 728.3 million during the period, more than double the sales compared to the same quarter last year. Their locations also more than doubled, to 485, as did their memberships, to 466,000, compared to the previous year.
And the company revealed that 46 percent of its revenues in the first quarter came from international locations.
WeWork is already one of the largest corporate owners, with ambitions to transform the way people work. And it has added new lines of business, some of which are closely related to office space, such as a private school and a covered wave pool.
On Wednesday, the company announced that it had established another company: ARK, a vehicle to invest directly in the real estate in which the WeWork joint work centers are located. The executives of the company say that it will allow WeWork to benefit from the value that the buildings add by hosting their spaces.
It is this rapid growth that has raised WeWork's private valuation to $ 47 billion. And it is likely to be the main point of sale if the company goes ahead with plans to pursue a public stock price.
Artie Minson, the president of WeWork, said recently that WeWork could be profitable if it delayed growth. On Wednesday, he said in an interview that growth was proof that the company was channeling cash to productive uses, rather than simply burning it to survive.
"We are clearly investing money in a proven business model," he said.
But there are indications that some investors are becoming more cautious of a growth approach at any cost. The actions of the Uber and Lyft ride giants remain significantly below their I.P.O. Prices, as investors pushed back against their high valuations. Uber has dropped more than 8 percent of its I.P.O. Price, while Lyft has dropped almost 25 percent.
"Zero worry about this," Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork and its chief executive, said this week about what Uber's offer could mean for WeWork's plans. "The public comes to establish the market."
Mr. Minson declined to comment on the timing of WeWork's initial offer plans. But he said: "I think that public market investors, when they look at the returns of invested capital, that is what will attract them."