WeWork filed its IPO — now meet its We Double

By Stephen Gandel

/ MoneyWatch

WeWork unveiled the offering documents for its upcoming and highly anticipated IPO on Wednesday morning. But less than 24 hours earlier, a company with a similar name, WeTrade, also filed for its initial public offering. It's not the We stock you might want to invest in. It's likely a We party crasher.

To make matters even more confusing, WeWork is offering shares through its corporate parent the We Company, which along with the popular office-sharing business also owns a shared-space living company called WeLive and a pre-school concept called WeGrow.

WeTrade is not one of those companies, either. In fact, other than a name and a suspiciously concurrent IPO timing, WeWork and WeTrade — which is looking to launch a Chineses travel website — have no ties and very little in common.

Trending News

WeTrade, like WeWork, says it is membership-based business. And both companies are offering shares to the public to fund their money-losing operations. But that's where the similarities end.

A tale of two IPOs

WeWork has 527,000 customers, $1.5 billion in sales in the first six months of the year, as well as $2.4 billion in cash. Its IPO prospectus is a hefty 400 pages, filled with plenty of lofty corporate branding. On top of its mission statement to "elevate the world's consciousness," the prospectus also contains a two-page photo of a lush green forest. It reads: "We invite you to join us in creating a better world. We are just getting started."

WeTrade's prospectus is a comparatively compact 57 pages, and short on detail. A section dedicated to describing the company's code of ethics is a single line long. "We do not currently have a code of ethics," it says. WeTrade also doesn't yet have a website. Nor a finished business plan. Its bank account balance: $441.

In recent years, a number of hot IPOs have led to costly company confusion among investors.

Shares of Zoom Technologies, a nearly defunct Chinese telecom that hadn't booked a dollar of sales in eight years, soared last March, eventually rising 50,000% from its initial pennies per share. Investors appear to have been looking to invest in Zoom Video Communications, a buzzy enterprise-teleconferencing software start-up that was set to go public the following month.

And when Snapchat parent Snap Inc. had a hot IPO two years ago, shares of Snap Interactive, which creates dating apps and is unrelated to the messaging company, also enjoyed several days of heated trading.

Then there was Tweeter Home Entertainment, which saw it stock briefly jump 750% in 2013. You can probably guess why. Tweeter, unlike a similarly named company, is not in the social media business.

But those IPO investing misfires involved unrelated companies that were already trading and got swept up in the frenzy. WeTrade was just formed earlier this year, on March 28, days after WeWork's 2018 results were reported, fueling speculation that the office-space company could soon go public.

WeTrade says in its IPO filing it is based in Wyoming, but its only corporate address in the prospectus is listed as "Beijing City." The phone number in the prospectus for that address appears to no longer be in service.

Andy in accounting

WeTrade's auditor is a company called TAAD, which is based in shared office space in a suburb of Los Angeles. A phone call placed to its number on Tuesday night resulted in a return call from a person who identified himself only as Andy, and said he was a partner at the firm. Andy said he uses the company's phone number as his home line as well. He refused to answer any questions about WeTrade, other than to say it was a client.

Andy did say TAAD regularly works on IPOs and is certified by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. TAAD's website lists three employees, none of them named Andy. And the PCOAB's website shows its inspections of TAAD's work in 2015 and again last November found that TAAD regularly failed to verify the accuracy of its client's accounts, which the PCAOB noted was the "essential purpose of the audit."

It's not clear how WeTrade could make money off of any investor confusion with WeWork, or if it is even intending to do so, but the offering document that WeTrade filed Tuesday will allow it to solicit investors for its shares at the same time that WeWork is expected to be rounding up investors for its IPO.

Investor beware.

First published on August 14, 2019 / 6:14 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

WeWork filed its IPO — now meet its We Double

A Wyoming company with a Chinese address and $441 in the bank seems poised to benefit from WeWork's buzzy IPO

5M ago Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering 081419-dream3.jpg

Dream Chaser spaceplanes to launch on Vulcan rocket

Sierra Nevada Corp. picks ULA's Vulcan rocket to boost Dream Chaser spaceplanes into orbit

14M ago 081419-dream3.jpg screen-shot-2019-08-14-at-3-40-30-pm.png

Four Loko teases seltzer with nearly triple the alcohol

The drink, from a company with a troubled history, boasts of being "The Hardest Seltzer In The Universe"

41M ago screen-shot-2019-08-14-at-3-40-30-pm.png 0814-cbs.jpg

5 officers shot in "active and ongoing" situation in Philadelphia

Police said the situation was still "active" and advised people to avoid the area

updated 6M ago 0814-cbs.jpg novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

1H ago novartis Increase Police Security In Front Of Trump Tower Following Protest In New York

Petition aims to rename Trump Tower street for Obama

If successful, Trump Tower's new address would be: "725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue, New York, NY 10022"

2H ago Increase Police Security In Front Of Trump Tower Following Protest In New York President Trump And Other Notable Leaders Address Annual NRA Meeting

Second Amendment advocates warn Trump over "red flag" laws

"If he basically tries to dismantle the Second Amendment community, he's going to be a one-termer. I firmly believe that," one activist said

2H ago President Trump And Other Notable Leaders Address Annual NRA Meeting Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams says she's open to being a VP candidate

After mulling a bid, Abrams will not be running for president

4H ago Stacey Abrams Election 2018 Mississippi

CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit

A recap of latest polls and data-driven studies from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit

5H ago Election 2018 Mississippi cbsnews-intelligence-matters-podcast-horizontal-620x350.jpg

Transcript: Juan Cruz on "Intelligence Matters"

This week, on "Intelligence Matters," Michael Morell talks with Cruz, a former special assistant to the president and senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, about the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis in Venezuela

6H ago cbsnews-intelligence-matters-podcast-horizontal-620x350.jpg Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians

MLB player becomes American citizen years after escaping Cuba

Because of America's relationship with Cuba, Puig had to be smuggled into the country through Mexico

1H ago Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians iran-bandar-abbas-market.jpg

Iranians hit hard by U.S. sanctions, and worried about war

CBS News meets Iranians in the city of Bandar Abbas, right on the tumultuous Strait of Hormuz, where tensions between their country and the U.S. are sky-high

3H ago iran-bandar-abbas-market.jpg Rotem Amitai is seen in an undated photo provided by her family.

Flight attendant diagnosed with measles after NY flight has died

El Al flight attendant Rotem Amitai was diagnosed with measles after flying from New York to Israel

2H ago Rotem Amitai is seen in an undated photo provided by her family. prince-andrew-virginia-giuffre-ghislaine-maxwell.jpg

Who is Prince Andrew, the U.K. royal linked to the Epstein case?

Scandals surrounding the royal's friendship with the billionaire sex offender who was found dead in his New York jail cell have long made headlines

4H ago prince-andrew-virginia-giuffre-ghislaine-maxwell.jpg 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg

The fight to save the northern white rhino

The last remaining members of the species are a mother and daughter that live under 24-hour armed guard in Kenya – but two rhinos thousands of miles away could offer hope

7H ago 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians

MLB player becomes American citizen years after escaping Cuba

Because of America's relationship with Cuba, Puig had to be smuggled into the country through Mexico

1H ago Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley

Reality TV stars plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

Todd Chrisley posted on Instagram on Monday a denial of any wrongdoing and alleged a former employee was "stealing from us big time"

2H ago Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley taylorswift-uplift-1911917-640x360.jpg

Taylor Swift sends fan $6,000 for tuition

Taylor Swift just surprised a fan from Canada by sending her more than $6,000 for tuition and rent after reading about her family struggles in a Tumblr post.

4H ago 01:06 taylorswift-uplift-1911917-640x360.jpg 0814-ctm-jadapinkettsmith-1911716-640x360.jpg

Jada Pinkett Smith speaks to 20-year-old self

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is the creator of “Red Table Talk,” a show that streams on Facebook Watch. On “Red Table Talk,” Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris have raw conversations on provocative issues from marriage to mental health. She’ll also soon return to the big screen in the action movie “Angel has Fallen,” alongside Gerard Butler. Pinkett Smith joined “CBS This Morning” Wednesday to discuss those projects and more.

8H ago 06:55 0814-ctm-jadapinkettsmith-1911716-640x360.jpg A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky convicted of assault in Sweden

But the American rapper has been given only a "conditional sentence," and that means no more jail time and no fine

1H ago A$AP Rocky Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering

WeWork filed its IPO — now meet its We Double

A Wyoming company with a Chinese address and $441 in the bank seems poised to benefit from WeWork's buzzy IPO

5M ago Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering 081419-dream3.jpg

Dream Chaser spaceplanes to launch on Vulcan rocket

Sierra Nevada Corp. picks ULA's Vulcan rocket to boost Dream Chaser spaceplanes into orbit

14M ago 081419-dream3.jpg FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats

Facebook said it's ended the practice of having contractors listen to and transcribe the recordings

3H ago FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY untitled-collage-1.jpg

Teen tweets from LG smart fridge, goes viral

15-year-old Dorothy figured out how to tweet from a Nintendo DS, a Wii and her fridge

6H ago untitled-collage-1.jpg rtx2z6n2.jpg

Apple lifted by delay in U.S. tariffs on China

With the tech company set to roll out its latest iPhones in September, higher levies on Chinese imports would hurt

Aug 13 rtx2z6n2.jpg 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg

The fight to save the northern white rhino

The last remaining members of the species are a mother and daughter that live under 24-hour armed guard in Kenya – but two rhinos thousands of miles away could offer hope

7H ago 0814-ctm-babyrhino-blackstone-1911720-640x360.jpg The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy's black hole suddenly flashed a bright light

Scientists called the flashes "unprecedented"

2H ago The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way. US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower peak Monday night

Anyone trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower should try to stay away from bright city lights

Aug 12 US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid coffee-cup-promo.jpg

Almanac: Instant coffee

On August 11, 1903, Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato received a U.S. patent for his method of making instant coffee in tablet form

Aug 11 coffee-cup-promo.jpg ap16153622242521.jpg

Climate change and overfishing increasing mercury levels in fish

Climate change "is not just about what the weather is like in 10 years," said researcher Amina Schartup. "It's also about what's on your plate in the next five."

Aug 10 ap16153622242521.jpg novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

1H ago novartis 0814-ctm-dementia-narula.jpg

Tips for lowering blood pressure, which may cut dementia risk

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found a link between high blood pressure and dementia

8H ago 0814-ctm-dementia-narula.jpg Teens vaping

New warnings of link between lung disease in teens and e-cigarettes

Minnesota became the third state where serious injuries linked to e-cigarettes were reported in the last month

10H ago Teens vaping baby-spinach-dole-recall.png

Dole recalls baby spinach after test finds salmonella

Packaged spinach leaves recalled in 10 states after bacteria found in a sample tested by Michigan health officials

20H ago baby-spinach-dole-recall.png US-INDUSTRY-TOBACCO-HEALTH-TEENS

Juul accused of marketing to teens in new lawsuit

Juul issued a statement saying the company has "never marketed to youth and do not want non-nicotine users, especially youth, to ever try our product"

Aug 13 US-INDUSTRY-TOBACCO-HEALTH-TEENS Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering

WeWork filed its IPO — now meet its We Double

A Wyoming company with a Chinese address and $441 in the bank seems poised to benefit from WeWork's buzzy IPO

5M ago Real Estate Upstart WeWork Releases Paperwork For Initial Public Offering screen-shot-2019-08-14-at-3-40-30-pm.png

Four Loko teases seltzer with nearly triple the alcohol

The drink, from a company with a troubled history, boasts of being "The Hardest Seltzer In The Universe"

41M ago screen-shot-2019-08-14-at-3-40-30-pm.png novartis

Brother scientists no longer at Novartis after drug scandal

Brian Kaspar and Allan Kaspar have left the drugmaker after the FDA said the company could face criminal penalties

1H ago novartis US-stocks-market

Dow down 800 points after bond markets flash recession warning

Major stock indexes tumble around 3% after yields on Treasury bonds inverted — a signal the U.S. economy is slowing

updated 43M ago US-stocks-market FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats

Facebook said it's ended the practice of having contractors listen to and transcribe the recordings

3H ago FRANCE-US-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY 0814-cbs.jpg

5 officers shot in "active and ongoing" situation in Philadelphia

Police said the situation was still "active" and advised people to avoid the area

updated 6M ago 0814-cbs.jpg El Paso mass shooting candlelight vigil

Watch: El Paso memorial service mourns mass shooting victims

Tonight's service will be a "gathering for our region to unite in support of those injured and mourn those who have lost their lives" — CBS News will live-stream the event at 9 p.m. ET

1H ago El Paso mass shooting candlelight vigil Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley

Reality TV stars plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

Todd Chrisley posted on Instagram on Monday a denial of any wrongdoing and alleged a former employee was "stealing from us big time"

2H ago Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley jeffrey-epstein-03.png

Corrections officers may have falsified reports they checked on Epstein

Epstein was taken off suicide watch about one week after an apparent attempt to hang himself

4H ago jeffrey-epstein-03.png ghislaine-maxwell-181355204.jpg

Epstein accuser details alleged tactics to lure her: "The trap was set"

Jennifer Araoz, who claims Epstein raped her when she was 14, sues Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed members of his staff

updated 11M ago ghislaine-maxwell-181355204.jpg 081419-dream3.jpg

Dream Chaser spaceplanes to launch on Vulcan rocket

Sierra Nevada Corp. picks ULA's Vulcan rocket to boost Dream Chaser spaceplanes into orbit

14M ago 081419-dream3.jpg The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way.

Our galaxy's black hole suddenly flashed a bright light

Scientists called the flashes "unprecedented"

2H ago The supermassive black hole located 26,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way. US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower peak Monday night

Anyone trying to watch the Perseid meteor shower should try to stay away from bright city lights

Aug 12 US-astronomy-meteor-Perseid ebbdvtjx4aacxou.jpg

A meteor large enough to see from Earth just hit Jupiter

The rare moment was captured with nothing more than a backyard telescope in Texas

Aug 9 ebbdvtjx4aacxou.jpg cbsn-fusion-saturn-rings-disappearing-nasa-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906783-640x360.jpg

Saturn's rings are disappearing

NASA's Cassini spacecraft ended its historic exploration of Saturn in 2017 and, slowly but surely, scientists are learning more about the ringed planet. Data from the 13-year mission helped scientists determine Saturn's rings are much newer than the planet itself — and they're disappearing.

Aug 6 00:42 cbsn-fusion-saturn-rings-disappearing-nasa-2019-08-06-thumbnail-1906783-640x360.jpg 1slide-the-worst-movies-of-2019-ranked.jpg

The worst movies of 2019

The worst films of the year star big name actors, including Keanu Reeves, Anne Hathaway, and Chris Hemsworth.

Aug 9 51 photos 1slide-the-worst-movies-of-2019-ranked.jpg jake-barlow-oddities-and-curiosities-expo-39.jpg

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo

A traveling exhibition of gothic and occult art, sideshow performers, and bizarre specimens stopped outside Chicago, where CBS News photographer Jake Barlow took in the odd sights

Jul 22 24 photos jake-barlow-oddities-and-curiosities-expo-39.jpg gettyimages-486106944.jpg

New York's Central Park

America's first major landscaped public park, the 840-acre park in Manhattan welcomes more than 37 million visitors every year

Jul 21 25 photos gettyimages-486106944.jpg Charles Manson

Manson Family murders: The terrifying story in pictures

A look at the cult slayings that shocked – and scared – America

Jul 3 44 photos Charles Manson star-trek.jpg

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 30 photos star-trek.jpg wright-911-call-1567128-640x360.jpg

Popular

NBA star's desperate call for help

Listen to former NBA star Lorenzen Wright’s frantic 911 call made on the night in 2010 that he was murdered. Wright was unable to give his name or location as 11 gunshots are heard before the call cuts out. It took days for authorities to learn that it was Wright who made the call.

Jul 27 00:40 wright-911-call-1567128-640x360.jpg wright-murder-plot-1567134-640x360.jpg

The alleged plot to kill Lorenzen Wright

Prosecutor Paul Hagerman reads an affidavit about informant Jimmie Martin who claims he helped plan the murder of Lorenzen Wright. Martin is Sherra Wright’s cousin. Martin claims he wasn’t there the night of the murder, but says he did help clean up the crime scene.

Jul 27 01:37 wright-murder-plot-1567134-640x360.jpg lulu-arrest-1683015-640x360.jpg

Body cam video captures murder-for-hire suspect's arrest

On July 23, 2015, detectives with the Montgomery County Texas Constable's Office arrive at the Houston gym owned by Ramon Sosa and his wife, Lulu, to arrest Lulu on suspicion of plotting her husband's death.

Jul 20 03:29 lulu-arrest-1683015-640x360.jpg blaze-remembered-1708829-640x360.jpg

#BlazeItForward: Murder victim remembered for his generosity and spirit

Close friends of the slain college sophomore share stories about the chef, writer and aspiring doctor who left their lives too soon.

Jul 20 02:27 blaze-remembered-1708829-640x360.jpg kasem-friends-1717873-640x360.jpg

Casey Kasem: Friends remember the talented radio icon

Friends, Gonzalo Venecia, Chuck and Eileen Olsen, and Les Martens remember the man behind the famous voice who kept "reaching for the stars."

Jul 27 01:40 kasem-friends-1717873-640x360.jpg

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here