The Wing gets $75M from Sequoia, Airbnb
The Wing, the owner of several co-working spaces and social clubs designed for women, has garnered the support of Sequoia Capital in its latest funding round.
The startup has announced a $75 million Series C led by the storied venture capital firm, with support from Airbnb and Upfront Ventures, as well as existing investors NEA and WeWork.
Headquartered in New York, The Wing was founded by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan in 2015. To date, the pair have raised $117.5 million, including a $32 million Series B in November 2017 led by WeWork, a co-working giant presumably interested in an eventual acquisition of its female-friendly counterpart.
A spokesperson for The Wing declined to disclose its valuation.
The Wing has 6,000 members across locations in New York, Washington, DC and San Francisco — where it first opened its doors just two months ago. The company has additional spots slated to open in West Hollywood, Chicago, Boston, London, Toronto and Paris in 2019. Memberships at the workspaces, which are complete with feminist imagery, conference rooms, a cafe, library, lactation room, beauty room, showers and more, are $215 apiece.
The Wing’s staff is majority female and its spaces are designed by female architects. It’s not surprising the investors behind its latest fundraise are mostly women, too.
As part of the Series C funding, Sequoia partner Jess Lee and Upfront partner Kara Nortman have joined The Wing’s board of directors. Lee, in a statement, said the funding would assist The Wing in bringing its physical community of career-oriented women into the digital realm.
Earlier this year, the company launched a mobile application for its members to stay connected with each other and to RSVP to Wing events.
“This investment will enable us to further The Wing’s mission and scale to new heights both offline and online,” Gelman, The Wing’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“The Wing’s mission is the advancement of women through community, and we could not be more excited to partner with such a powerful community of women who lead their fields in tech, Hollywood, policy, and sports. This round is proof positive that women can be on both sides of the table.”
Also participating in the financing are actress Kerry Washington, producer Katie McGrath, former White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and two of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense co-founders Robbie Kaplan and Hilary Rosen. U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team players Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Meghan Klingenberg and Becky Sauerbrunn also provided capital to The Wing.
Airbnb, for its part, has not previously invested in The Wing and is not an active investor in startups. It’s unclear what sort of partnership may be brewing between the home-sharing “unicorn” and the feminist co-working space. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said he was “incredibly inspired” by The Wing and was “thrilled to support them.”
According to a report from The Information published Tuesday, Airbnb is in talks to lead a $75 million investment in a startup called Lyric, which transforms apartment buildings into hotels for travelers. That, coupled with its contribution to The Wing’s funding round, could mean Airbnb is foraying into the business of startup investing.