The co-working operator The Wing has permanently shut down, as the startup recently announced it would shutter its remaining six U.S. locations effective immediately. The company notified its members in an email about the closure, saying it will transfer the workspace and membership needs of remaining customers to the co-working space operator IWG, owner of the Regus brand.
Founded in 2016, The Wing had 11 co-working locations in two countries at its peak, but the all-female concept had been mired in controversy and financial difficulties during much of its brief history. The company faced a lawsuit in 2018 claiming the startup’s female-only membership was discriminatory, leading to The Wing modifying its policy to allow all genders to join. The company’s valuation also nosedived in 2018 after WeWork divested its stake following that company’s infamous botched IPO.
During the pandemic, The Wing’s revenue plunged by 95 percent, and the company was forced to close co-working spaces and lay off employees. While The Wing’s failure could be attributed to various factors, part of it may also be because of the increasing competition and consolidation in the co-working and flex office industry. As hybrid work becomes entrenched in the office sector, prominent co-working players like WeWork and Industrious are acquiring smaller firms and smaller co-working operators are merging.
The co-working industry also took a massive hit during the pandemic, as nearly 1,400 spaces closed between 2020 and 2021, according to research by co-working operator Coworker. As the co-working industry matures, not every operator (like The Wing) will survive as the big industry players continue to expand.