The We Company is a business that defies description, at least according to its co-founder and chief executive Adam Neumann.

But for many it’s the firm’s valuation that is really defying explanation.

As it prepares for a stockmarket listing, the parent company of WeWork, provider of trendy shared office space, looks set to be valued at around $47bn (£36bn).

That puts it in the same bracket as the slate of high-profile technology companies that are also floating their businesses, and have attracted sky-high valuations based on the idea they will reap big rewards from disrupting established markets.

Like them WeWork boasts a “millennial-friendly” outlook and aesthetic. The bright, airy and comfortable offices it rents out are built around community so people can choose to work in an office

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