In 2018, WeWork will be pushing a new business line that could radically alter the nature of its business and its risk profile.

People obsess about WeWork’s $20B valuation and the way it is fraught with risk. The risk is a result of the inherent liability mismatch of flexible office companies; WeWork and its peers take out long leases on space and then let it out short term to their members, leaving them exposed if those members decide to leave.

But what if WeWork could earn those fees from members without having to take the leases? The company would be a different, far less risky prospect. That is the idea behind “Powered by We,” a concept WeWork developed in 2017 for larger companies, which it is now looking to push more widely.

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