Is Uber, the service that enables urbanites to summon cabs and town cars with their smart phones, really worth $17 billion?
That’s the valuation on which its most recent funding round was based.
It’s a record for a tech startup. Almost as impressive as the total is the caliber of firms taking a stake.
The interactive Muckety map above shows stakeholders in Uber, along with some of their other tech investments.
Those participating in the latest round, which raised $1.2 billion, include Fidelity Investments, Kleiner Perkins, Wellington Management, Summit Partners and BlackRock. Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos had previously put money in.
However, there are more than a few naysayers.
As Michael Hiltzik writes in the Los Angeles Times:
|Uber claims to have an advantage because it was first into the ride-sharing biz. But while “first mover advantage” is a cherished mantra in Silicon Valley, it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. It’s certainly not a can’t-miss formula for lasting success.|
In Inc., Ilan Mochari delivers a caution: Early evaluations are just that. Mochari remembers a few others: Webvan went bankrupt within two years of a $6 billion evaluation. Fisker Automotive, once valued at $1.8 billion filed for bankruptcy protection last November.
Still, despite rising concerns about another tech bubble, there are believers.
Emily Badger writes in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog:
|Uber is going to be a very big company. It will facilitate a lot more than rides to the airport…Soon, it will be moving stuff, not just people. And all of the data it collects in the process will be used to design systems, not simply apps.|