WeWork is reportedly recruiting startups for a mysterious new invite-only incubator called ‘Area 51’

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  • Real estate startup WeWork is reportedly recruiting for a new startup incubator called Area 51 Paradise Ranch.
  • The startups incubator will reportedly first be tested out at the company’s Tribeca office space in New York City.
  • The invite-only incubator will give startups a modern workspace and mentorship in exchange for a monthly fee – not equity.

Co-working real estate startup WeWork is readying a new startup incubator, called Area 51 Paradise Ranch, which will be trialed at the company’s Tribeca office space, Wired reported on Monday.

WeWork declined to comment on the new incubator, and the full scope of the company’s long-term ambitions for the venture are still unclear.

WeWork has continued to raise eyebrows over the last year as its valuation continues to climb. The co-working and co-living startup reached a $20 billion valuation in July, making it New York City’s most valuable startup and spurring a number of acquisitions. In just the past few months, the company has set out on an ambitious spending spree, purchasing networking site Meetup.com for $200 million, a mobile communications app, a coding camp in New York City, as well as sleek new headquarters in downtown New York.

According to images viewed by Wired, Area 51’s pitchdeck describes the incubator as a “fluid yet systematic platform” that will foster “pioneers, inventors, and leaders” – an extension of the pre-existing WeWork Labs. But Area 51’s approach will differ from that of other prominent incubators, like Y Combinator, where startups trade a stake in their company’s equity for a modern workspace and mentorship. Instead, Area 51 is modeled after WeWork’s business model: providing space and community for a flat monthly fee. According to Wired, there’s no promise of a potential WeWork investment or an equity stake.

Incubators are famously tricky business due to the unpredictable nature of determining a successful startup, but, given its past successes, WeWork might prove a fierce competitor on the incubator scene.

You can read more about Area 51 – and view some of WeWork’s pitch deck on the incubator – over at Wired.