WeWork's tech head explains why the office provider is buying a building access app used by top landlords

Business Insider | Jun 25, 2019, 05.30PM IST

WeWork Dumbo Heights Private Office

  • WeWork is buying Waltz, which built systems to allow entry to office buildings via mobile app instead of key card.
  • WeWork's chief technology officer told Business Insider that the acquisition will help the office provider, which has 485 locations, make building access easier.
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WeWork wants its members to ditch the office key card.

The office provider, which has 485 locations, is buying startup Waltz to make entering buildings easier, Shiva Rajaraman, WeWork's chief technology officer, told Business Insider.

Instead of using a plastic keycard, a WeWork tenant heading up to her office could use Waltz's mobile app to enter a turnstile, unlock an elevator floor, and open her office door.

"Many times you have a physical key card, which we still think is an important backup, but you should have the option to use your phone," Rajaraman said.

Read more: WeWork's CEO explains why he thinks his $47 billion company is recession proof, and how he keeps his ego in check as a young billionaire

Right now, Rajaraman said Waltz is used by three major landlords, but declined to name them.

WeWork will continue working with those groups as it implements the system in its own offices, Rajaraman said. The acquisition also adds 30 Waltz employees in New York and Montreal to WeWork's staff, including founder Matt Kopel.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions by WeWork, including its acquisitions of office-services startup Managed by Q and event hosting platform Meetup.

Rajaraman said he's not planning any other acquisitions.

"This is it for now," he said.

WeWork is planning to go public later this year.

Are you a WeWork employee with a story to share? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-1627 using a non-work phone, email at mmorris@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @MeghanEMorris. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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