In a shocking turn of events, WeWork, the flexible workspace giant once hailed as a $47 billion unicorn, is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy as early as next week, according to a trusted insider. This staggering fall from grace sent shockwaves through Wall Street, causing WeWork’s shares to plummet by a harrowing 30% during extended trading hours, culminating in a jaw-dropping 96% decline in value this year alone.

New York-based WeWork is reportedly mulling over the option of filing a Chapter 11 petition in the Garden State of New Jersey, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing well-placed sources. However, as the news broke, WeWork remained tight-lipped and offered no immediate comment when approached by Reuters.

The gloomy backdrop for WeWork darkened even further on the same day when the beleaguered company chose to withhold an interest payment of approximately $6.4 million, underscoring the profound financial challenges it faces.

The dramatic fall of WeWork, once the poster child of the co-working revolution, can be traced back to its ill-fated attempt to go public in 2019. Back then, investors harbored deep skepticism over its unconventional business model, which involved securing long-term leases and then subletting the spaces for shorter durations, all while the company incurred staggering losses.

Regrettably, WeWork’s troubles did not dissipate in the years that followed. The company eventually managed to go public in 2021, albeit at a vastly reduced valuation, a far cry from its once-lofty aspirations. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, one of WeWork’s primary backers, poured billions into the struggling startup in a bid to keep it afloat, but despite these monumental efforts, the company continued to hemorrhage money.

By August, WeWork was compelled to acknowledge the precarious state of its operations, raising “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue functioning. The crisis prompted a wave of top-level departures, including the departure of CEO Sandeep Mathrani, leaving the company’s future hanging in the balance.

WeWork’s journey began in 2010 when co-founder Adam Neumann set out to transform the way people work. Starting in New York, the company initially catered primarily to freelancers, startups, and small businesses, offering flexible and stylish workspaces. However, the allure of WeWork’s concept soon attracted larger clients, propelling its rapid expansion.

Despite the dire straits in which it currently finds itself, WeWork’s story remains a testament to the volatile nature of the business world. It serves as a cautionary tale for startups and investors alike, underscoring the importance of sustainable business models and prudent financial management in an ever-changing market.

As WeWork teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, its fate hangs in the balance. The once-mighty disruptor has been humbled, serving as a stark reminder that even the most ambitious dreams can come crashing down when faced with the harsh realities of the corporate world.