Popular New York Startup, The Wing, Women’s Club Closes Series A Round, With Plans To Expand
The Wing in New York is not just a co-working space. The venture, started by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan is part co-working space, part social club, part networking club, and exclusive by design. It’s only for women, but more than that, there’s an application process that every interested woman must go through, to insure they are a fit.
The exclusivity, however, doesn’t turn people away, in fact it’s helped grow interest, quickly. New York Magazine reports that 200 out of the 300 people initially invited to join The Wing, signed up to join. Forbes reports that, they have over 1300 women on the waiting list. The idea dates back to the early 1900s, think DAR, but much more contemporary, hip and work focused.
When Gelman initially thought about The Wing, it had the name Refresh. She also envisioned it as a place where on-the-go women who have meetings all over town, could have a central home base.
“I had a lot of different meetings and things all over the place. I would have to essentially pack my entire apartment into my bag, and what I needed was a safe in-between that wasn’t the bathroom at Le Pain Quotidien.” Gelman told New York Magazine.
The name was changed as the idea evolved. The Wing has a lot of the same amenities as other co-working spaces. They also have a lot of amenities focused on their women clientele. There’s art made by women in the walls, showers with bathrooms filled with pampering products, a cafe and a library of women inspired reading.
Community is just as big a part of The Wing as the amenities. Gelman and Kassan have attracted an a-list of sorts in their early membership and women aspiring to be a-list. But don’t think of a-list as celebrities (although their are some), rich wives, and social debutantes. The Wing membership could be described no less than women who kick ass at life and work.
Most reviews of The Wing have been positive. My personal favorite CNBC reporter Marguerite Ward, spent a day at The Wing, and her review was less than positive. She cited the pink as too much, and that it was noisy. She also felt isolated from her co-workers back at CNBC. Although definitely a kick ass lady, Ward isn’t the ideal candidate or any co-working space.
“The Wing is fun and exciting, especially if you’re the type of woman who enjoys the Instagram-worthy vibe. If you like it every so often and have the money for a membership, I’d say join. I just don’t fall into either of those two categories.” Ward said.
Driven, entrepreneurial spirited women are going to love the place. At $1950 per year, it’s actually substantially less in cost when compared to places like WeWork.
And let us remind you, there’s 1300 people in New York on the waiting list.
Obviously not everyone is on the same page as Ward. The Wing just announced that they just closed an $8 million dollar Series A round. That’s after Gelman was able to bring in $2.4 million in seed money, pre-revenue and even pre-opening. Gelman and Kassan are looking to expand into Soho and Washington DC.
NEA led the Series A round. Kleiner Perkins and The Wing’s existing investors, which include BBG Ventures, and the founders of SoulCycle, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler.
Check out The Wing here at the-wing.com