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Is the demise of Breather a bellwether for co-working?

Breather co-founders Caterina Rizzi & Julien Smith (Credit: TRD / Breather)

Co-working startup Breather has laid off the majority of its staff and plans to shutter all of its more than 400 locations around the world as it switches to an online-only platform, Globe & Mail first reported. The company started insolvency processes in the United States, where it has 315 locations.

  • Damning admission from Breather CEO Bryan Murphy: “The decision I’ve made is that Breather, in its current form as an operator, doesn’t make sense, and, to be frank, I’m not sure it ever made sense.”
  • No valuable assets after $122 million in venture funding: Breather hired investment bank Moelis & Company to explore a potential sale, but there was no interest because of its hefty lease commitments, CO noted.
  • Industrious still living in pre-WeWork IPO debacle world: The co-working company hired attorney Clem Turner from Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, in a newly created role as its top lawyer, Bloomberg reported. His appointment follows that of CFO Greg Barber, an ex-PepsiCo executive as the company eyes a potential public listing in 2021. [BI+CO+Globe&Mail+Bloomberg]

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