Earlier this week, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick made a public comment that sounded like he was denying claims his company was raising at a valuation north of $2.5 million.
“There are probably one or two folks we’re talking to who we’ve signed NDAs with who are particularly loose with information, but that information is not correct,” Kalanick said when asked on Tuesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference.
Instead, his company may be raising at a valuation that’s up to $1 billion higher than that.
According to AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes, the financing Uber is currently working on could value the real-time driver service at up to $3.5 billion. Similarly, Fortune’s Dan Primack is reporting that Uber is asking for a “pre-money valuation well north of $3 billion.” The size of the 9-figure check Uber is seeking will be “at least $150 million,” Primack writes.
Both Primack and Gannes agree: the round will likely be lead by private equity firm, Texas Pacific Group. Both also says Google Ventures is likely to invest, despite being invested in one of its ride-sharing competitors, SideCar. That may mean MG Siegler is behind the deal there; he was at CrunchFund when it invested in Uber’s 2011 $37.5 million round of financing and he is now at Google Ventures. Then, Uber was valued at $330 million. Siegler hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.
When you’re an attractive company like Uber is, raising a ton of money at a sky-high valuation doesn’t mean you have to give up much of your company. You can set unusually desirable terms for yourself and some investor will abide by it.
The demand is certainly there. Uber’s valuation seems to have increased by $1 billion since the fundraising talks began. “I’ve never seen people leaning in like this,” one source close to the deal tells Business Insider, who also said investors were flying from all over to meet with the company.
Primack says Kalanick isn’t planning to sell any of his own shares in the new financing round and that, despite writing a 9-figure check, TPG may not be given majority ownership of Uber. The deal may get done with Kalanick not having to give up more than a few per cent of his company. The deal is still in the works, so all of the reported speculation above is subject to change.
Uber operates in 35 cities and while it isn’t profitable, it is profitable in all of its earliest markets including New York and San Francisco. Revenue is growing 18% month over month and its Net Promoter Scores rival Apple’s, which is about 72%.
Uber has not responded to a request for comment.
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