according to Scott Austin, editor of the WSJ tech, Benchmark, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, has invested $ 9 million in Uber Series A in 2011. At the offer price of 55 $ per share proposed, the $ 9 million investment would soon be valued at $ 6.9 billion.
The $ 6.9 billion figure excludes Benchmark's sale of its $ 900 million Uber stock to SoftBank, which paid more than $ 7.7 billion last year for his share in Uber.
Where is Benchmark's Uber investment in the best VC betting?
Some of the best venture capital deals of all time involve companies like Facebook and Whatsapp.
When Facebook launched its IPO with a valuation of $ 104 billion, Accel Partners, which had invested $ 12.7 million with Peter Thiel in 2005, reported a return on investment of $ 9 billion in 2012.
Sequoia Capital, which had invested $ 60 million in the early days of Whatsapp, recorded a return on investment of $ 3 billion when Facebook acquired Whatsapp for $ 22 billion.
While the two deals were worth several billion dollars, Accel's investment in Facebook recorded a return on investment of 708 times, while Sequoia recorded a return on 50.
According to Uber's IPO of USD 55 per share, Benchmark's A Series investment in Uber would generate an impressive 766-fold return, making it one of the best venture capital operations in Europe. modern history.
Is a $ 100 billion valuation for Uber justified?
If Uber becomes public at the target value of $ 100 billion, this would make it the third largest release behind Alibaba and Facebook.
Risks related to Uber include competition with companies such as Lyft and the expected increase in operating costs.
"Our corporate culture and forward-thinking approach has created operational, cultural and compliance challenges, and our efforts to resolve them may not succeed," said a section of the document entitled "Summary of Risk Factors". ".
According to Uber Technologies' S-1 filing, gross bookings have increased 45% since 2017 and revenues from other areas have also increased.
More importantly for investors, Uber posted a net profit of $ 1 billion in 2018, rebounding after a net loss of $ 4 billion in 2017.
"In 2018, gross bookings reached $ 49.8 billion, up 45% from $ 34.4 billion in 2017. In the same period, revenues reached $ 11.3 billion, up 42% from $ 7.9 billion the year before. Adjusted net income of the main platform was $ 10.0 billion in 2018, up 39% from $ 7.2 billion in 2017. Net income (loss) Amounted to $ 1.0 billion in 2018 and $ (4.0) billion in 2017. Adjusted EBITDA was $ (1.8) billion in 2018 and $ (2.6) billion in dollars in 2017, "reads the document.
With more than 91 million monthly active customers in the platform and its gross bookings having risen substantially over the last year, investor expectations for a successful Uber IPO remain strong.
A change in the venture capital ecosystem
By the end of 2018, the NY Times reported that in 2017, investors had participated in 273 mega-rounds, generally considered venture capital rounds exceeding $ 100 million.
In the first seven months of 2018, 268 mega-towers were completed and in July, a new monthly record of $ 15 billion worth of transactions was completed.
At the time, Bill Gurley, managing partner of Benchmark Capital, said the VC market has become very competitive for startups. If startups fail to get more than $ 100 million worth of business, startups risk dropping it.
"If your competitor has to raise $ 150 million and you want to be conservative and only raise $ 20 million, you're going to be crushed," said Gurley.
Some call VC a bubble.
If it's really the new normal, I can not say that it's necessarily a bad thing. For the first time in history, the most talented and motivated seek to start their business as quickly as possible. When I graduated, everyone wanted to work at Goldman and McKinsey.
– Su Zhu (@zhusu) April 12, 2019
Following the IPO of Uber, the interest of venture capital companies in the search for the next major agreement should increase, which could fuel the activities of the ecosystem of the venture capital industry.