Real Estate

View Inc. Files for Bankruptcy, Goes Private with $50M Aid

View Inc. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, plans to go private amid financial woes and a $359 million debt restructuring effort.

By Tal Alexander

4/3, 14:18 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • View, a smart glass startup, to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and go private after securing a $50 million credit facility from key stakeholders Cantor Fitzgerald and RXR.
  • Despite a promising start with a $1.1 billion investment from SoftBank in 2018 and going public via an SPAC in 2020, View faced significant financial troubles including fines and layoffs.
  • The company's stock plummeted nearly 89% year-to-date, opening at $0.40 per share on Wednesday from a high of being valued at $2 billion.

The Fall of a Tech Visionary

View Inc., once a beacon of innovation in the smart glass industry, has succumbed to financial pressures, culminating in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. This development marks a significant downturn for a company that was valued at $2 billion in 2018, following a substantial $1.1 billion investment from SoftBank. Despite its pioneering technology, which promised to revolutionize the commercial building sector with windows that adjust to sunlight, View's journey towards bankruptcy underscores the harsh realities of balancing innovation with financial viability.

A Tangled Web of Financial Woes

The path to bankruptcy was paved with a series of missteps and challenges for View. From being fined $5 million for environmental violations to facing penalties from the Securities and Exchange Commission for financial misreporting, the company's troubles were manifold. Coupled with a workforce reduction of nearly 23% and a staggering debt of $227.6 million against a mere $65.3 million in cash reserves, View's financial health deteriorated rapidly. The company's stock plummeted nearly 89% year-to-date, a stark indicator of its declining fortunes.

The Broader Implications of View's Bankruptcy

View's bankruptcy is not just a tale of a single company's struggle but reflects broader challenges within the tech startup ecosystem. The support from major stakeholders like Cantor Fitzgerald and RXR Realty, through a $50 million credit facility, underscores the critical role of strategic partnerships in navigating financial crises. However, the need for a strategic review and restructuring, as highlighted by View's CEO Rao Mulpuri, points to the importance of sustainable business models that balance innovation with financial health.

A Glimmer of Hope Amidst Despair

Despite the dire circumstances, View's bankruptcy filing is accompanied by a restructuring plan that has garnered the support of all its term-loan lenders and 90% of noteholders. This plan, which proposes turning the company over to lenders in exchange for reducing its $359 million debt load, offers a glimmer of hope for the company's future. The backing by investment firms and the commitment to continue operations during the bankruptcy process reflect a concerted effort to salvage what remains of View's innovative legacy.

Management Quotes

  • Rao Mulpuri, CEO of View:

    "The bankruptcy and privatization follows a strategic review to ensure we have the proper capital structure going forward."

  • Howard Lutnick, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald:

    "[Expressed support for View’s future.]"