Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Uber Finally Confirms $258 Million Fundraising

moneybagsIt’s not like Uber to be quiet. But after a day without comment, the car-hailing company has now responded to our report yesterday that it raised a pile of cash, based on an official filing that echoed our sleuthing about the deal in July.

“We wanted to put out the official word to make sure the facts were clear and confirmed,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick just wrote in a blog post. “This round is $258 million with proceeds to be used to expand into new markets, begin marketing efforts, and fight off protectionist, anti-competitive efforts.”

We’d also written yesterday that the round was larger, because in total it included shares bought from existing investors including co-founder Garrett Camp.

With a bit of rhetorical flourish, Kalanick described new investors at Google Ventures and TPG Capital as “bits” and “atoms,” respectively.

Google and its SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond will help advise Uber on regulatory issues and offer “strategic connectivity to their product initiatives” — a.k.a. same-day delivery and other areas of overlap. Drummond will have an Uber board seat. We’ve also been told that Google Ventures partner David Krane will have a board observer seat.

And TPG is the “atoms,” Kalanick explained, because it helps invest in and run companies with intensive operations all over the world. TPG partner David Bonderman will have a board seat as well.

As the Uber post appears to have been taken down shortly after going live, here’s the full text:

Bits & Atoms

As many of you have seen in the press today, Uber recently closed a financing round. We wanted to put out the official word to make sure the facts were clear and confirmed. This round is $258 million with proceeds to be used to expand into new markets, begin marketing efforts, and fight off protectionist, anti-competitive efforts.

The financing was led by Google Ventures with TPG Growth participating. David Drummond, Google’s SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer will be joining the Uber board. David Bonderman, founding partner of TPG, will also be joining the board.

The numbers on this financing are fairly substantial. It is a reflection of our growth to date and continuing success. But with this new investment, expectations naturally increase and there is a new standard of excellence and accomplishment that we seek to live up to. Our vision is to build a technology company that changes transportation and logistics in urban centers around the world and this financing gives us the fuel to make that a reality.

We couldn’t be more excited to embark on the next phase of our journey with our new partners, both truly great in their respective industries. I like to talk about this combination of investors as “Bits and Atoms.”

Bits

On one end we have Google, a technology powerhouse, with billions of users on an incredibly complementary product suite ranging from Google Maps to Android to self-driving vehicles. We look to Google for the strategic connectivity to their product initiatives alongside the expertise that comes with evangelizing new technology with governments and regulatory bodies around the world.

David Drummond is our partner at Google who will help us navigate the company and provide strategic advice as our regulatory efforts follow our launches across Europe and Asia.

Atoms

With TPG, we have partnered up with one of the most prolific private equity firms in the world. Why does that matter? How are they different than any of the traditional venture capital firms? It’s really simple: TPG owns and operates companies. The Uber deal is obviously very different, but their deep rolodex of operations executives and their regulatory know-how in highly regulated, “atoms”-based industries in the farthest corners of the globe is where TPG shines. David Bonderman’s vision and relationships will be invaluable to Uber as we become a global brand.

So that’s the news. I hope this clarifies what Uber is looking to do with this new funding, and sheds some light on the groundbreaking investment partnership we’ve put together for Uber’s next phase of growth.

Uber On,

Travis


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