Here's a sentence you don't see every day:
Uber Technologies is looking to raise as much as $2.1 billion in a financing round that would value the car-booking company at $62.5 billion, said people familiar with the matter. Uber has filed paperwork in Delaware detailing the fundraising plans, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private.
According to Bloomberg, the Ayn Rand-themed car service that lives on your phone is hoping to scoop up a couple of billion by convincing the VC market that it's worth more than $60 billion.
Those numbers all start with "B"s.
But that's just the tip of Uber's iceberg made of balls. The company is not only raising this round in the midst of unicorn hunting expeditions from Fidelity and SEC chair Mary Jo White, but its also getting money from the same guys funding its rivals.
As part of the financing round, Uber has closed investments from hedge fund Tiger Global Management and investment manager T. Rowe Price, and it’s also seeking strategic investors with shared business interests, the people said. Uber, Tiger Global, and T. Rowe Price declined to comment. One strategic investor, Microsoft, kicked in about $100 million as part of a previous round for the San Francisco ride-hailing company, people with knowledge of the matter said in July.
Tiger Global backs some of Uber’s main competitors outside of the U.S., including China’s Didi Kuaidi, India’s Ola, and Singapore’s GrabTaxi. Didi Kuaidi raised about $3 billion in a round this year, people familiar with the matter had said.
And Didi Kuaidi is an investor in Lyft, so Uber is basically daring people not to invest in them during a pre-IPO period that now seems to exist outside the human concept of space and time.
But the most intriguing part of this latest multi-billion financing round is what Uber will do with all that f#cking money. Sure, it's an old and played-out trope at this point, but the vague scrim of "global expansion costs" seems to become even thinner and more obtuse when you realize that this is the FIFTH round totaling $1 billion or more that Uber has raised since January.
Even when factoring in Uber's projects to create self-driving cars and other experiments, it's still hard to see clearly what the company is using that money for considering it own cars and generates revenue from a workforce that costs it almost no overhead.
So here are some of our guesses:
- Uber is building a literal tower of money.
- Travis Kalanick is on a trendy new Silicon Valley diet that only allows him to eat cash.
- Just trolling Lyft at this point.
- Someone has figured out a way to animate Ayn Rand, but it will cost $1 trillion.
- Golden Kate Upton statues aren't cheap.
- The entire premise of Uber is just an elaborate ruse by Lenny Dykstra to pay of his debts.
- Paying off Courtney Love to stop tweeting about Uber.
- Slush fund for whomever runs against Bill de Blasio.
- Travis trying to buy Steve Cohen's apartment.
- They're blowing it all on weed and pizza.
We'll take your guesses in the comments...
Uber Raises Funding at $62.5 Billion Valuation [Bloomberg]