Uber IPO news & Softbank Investment
Over the past few days, Uber has been in the news, and this time, its not all negative! Two big developments have cemented Uber’s financial stability for the medium term (next few years): Uber looking to IPO in 2019 and a $1 billion investment from SoftBank.
Photo credit: http://www.forexnewsnow.com/top-stories/ipos-2017/
Uber IPO in 2019:
As reported by Tech Crunch, the previous Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had planned for an Uber IPO for 2018 to 2020 before he was fired, but the current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has just confirmed a 2019 IPO plan when talking at the New York’s Dealbook conference. The reasoning behind the long timeframe is that Uber “has all the disadvantage of being a public company, with the spotlight on us, with none of the advantages”, as stated by Khosrowshahi.
Essentially, what the new CEO is waiting for is the bad press to subside and for improvements to be made in markets abroad that are still contentious. While the US and Canada are great markets for Uber, other countries have not been as favorable towards the ridesharing company operating within its borders; one only has to look as far as London (not the UK) and China for examples. London revoked Uber of their operating license last month and sold its Chinese company to Didi Chuxing in 2016 because it couldn’t compete due to tough regulations and being a foreign company. If Uber is to have any success when going public, it will have to broaden its consumer base internationally, which it has tried to do, but with more success and less headlines of management issues.
Uber Softbank Investment:
While the 2019 IPO of Uber does sound appealing for investors and employees looking to get out of their investment, another way they might be able to do so comes with the news of Softbank bringing $1 billion to the table in investment at the $70 billion valuation, as well as $9 billion in a buying up existing shares from employees and investors (as reported by Tech Crunch). While this valuation does not move the needle as much as I’m sure people invested in Uber at the $50 billion valuation in May of 2015 had hoped for, it should be reassuring that one of the world’s largest funds values it above any previous benchmark, indicating stability.
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