It was less than seven years ago when a buddy of mine from Silicon Valley invited me to an app launch party. He told me the company was going to be huge and potentially challenge the entire transportation industry. The new app was called Uber, and it was going to provide consumers a way to get safe and inexpensive access to their own private driver. The service would also allow tens of thousands of people to instantly turn their car into a side hustle. I was skeptical about the idea, but I decided to attend the launch party anyway. The energy at the party was different than other launch parties that I have attended. We knew this idea was going to have a disrupting impact on many industries with the hardest hit being the classic cab drivers. Uber going public has been on my mind since that night and it looks like we may be getting closer to an Uber stock symbol becoming a reality.
Is There an Uber Stock Symbol?
No. Uber is still a private company which means there is no Uber ticker and shares of the company are not publicly available to buy and sell. However, Uber is one of the most anticipate IPO’s of 2017 even though there is not an immediate plan for it to become publicly traded. Recently, Uber has endured some negative press regarding claims of sexual harassment by drivers and mounting losses on a quarterly basis. The company’s CEO was also criticized for being an early Trump supporter which is not a popular viewpoint in silicon valley.
Will There Be an Uber IPO?
Uber will go public when their ability to raise money privately starts to deteriorate. Despite the fact that Uber lost over $800 million last quarter, the company is still not having any problems raising money. Venture capitalists and institutional investors are more willing than ever to throw money at this disrupting startup. Sources estimate that Uber has raised $8-10 billion so far and the value of Uber is somewhere between $50-60 million making it the most valuable startup in history.
When Uber does decide to go public the stock most likely be an IPO on NASDAQ or NYSE, and anyone will be able to purchase shares. The only thing you will need is a retail brokerage account. Be sure to consult your financial advisor or any of the traders at StackedBid before purchasing an Uber IPO. The company is fantastic at increasing revenue but it has also shown an aptitude for losing money. The share structure of the offering combined with the financials at the time of offering will tell us if buying the Uber IPO is a good idea or not.
Uber Competitors: Will Lyft Stock Win?
On-demand driving services have burst onto the scene over the past seven years, and at this point, it’s hard to imagine going back to taxis. The convenience of app-based transportation removes many inconveniences from the process of getting from one place to the next. With Uber, the driver already knows where you are going before you get in the car, there is no money changing hands between you and the driver, and no tip is required. You would have a very similar experience with a private driver which is why Uber is such a popular service.
The experience of taking an Uber significantly more enjoyable than taking a standard cab. That being said, Uber has had some trouble defining itself as the marquee app-based transportation company. Companies like Lyft, Ola, and Curb are continuing to gain market share while Uber continues to lose money. Even Google is turning into a competitor for Uber with its self-driving car division. Uber has said that its self-driving car department may become a stand-alone company which would put it in direct competition with Uber.
However, Uber is also developing a self-driving car technology. The company started test driving Ford Fusions in Pittsburg with engineers in the passenger seats just in case anything crazy happened. So far they have avoided any major incidents although a self-driving car was recently in the news due to an accident. A human driver hit the self driving car! Driving automation is surely the wave of the future, and it is only a matter of time before drivers start being replaced by robots with their hands at 10 and 2.
Would it Be Wise to Invest in Uber?
Uber’s entry into the marketplace is the absolute definition of a disrupting innovation. Everything changed the day this app launched. The journey to this point has not necessarily been a smooth one, and the road doesn’t seem to be getting smoother anytime soon. Uber and its drivers have had a rocky relationship from the beginning. There have been disputes over pay and employment classification for years. Recently Uber was prepared to pay over $100 million in damages to its drivers before a CA judge determined the ruling was unfair to Uber.
The company’s financials have been an issue recently as well. Despite increasing revenues at an astounding rate, Uber has a habit of losing money just as quickly. The company lost over $1 billion in the first half of 2016. However, despite the lack of profitability the company has had no problems raising money.
Finally, Google is currently suing Uber for theft of its self-driving car technology. This is a major lawsuit which could have a dramatic effect on the company.
Uber IPO Date: When Might That Be?
When Uber inevitably goes public, it will be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) IPOs in history. Uber is the single most valuable startup in the history of startups. With a $50-70 billion price tag on the company, we are sure to see some fireworks when it goes public. The performance of the stock after IPO depends on a variety of factors like current market and economic trends, the progress of self-driving technology, and current status of lawsuits against the company. 2016 was a slow year for IPO’s. 2017 is shaping up to be a more busy year with SNAP already going public and Airbnb, Spotify, and Pinterest all on deck.
It turns out that the app launch party I attended with skepticism may produce the largest and most disruptive start-up company in the history of the world. Who would have thought!