Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, says the car service is nowhere near going public, even though it has managed to raise over $5 billion and has a current market valuation of over $50 billion.
“We’re maturing as a company, but we’re still like eighth graders”, Kalanick said at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive conference. “We’re in junior high. And someone’s telling us we need to go to the prom. But it’s a little early. Give us a few years. Give us a little time”.
However, well known investor Bill Gurley said at the conference that the worst advice in Silicon Valley is to stay private longer. Kalanick admitted he has been under pressure from Gurley and Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but that it’s not yet the right time.
“In years and decades past, you’d go public for that last slug of capital to get to market”, said Kalanick. “And the dynamics have changed. There’s a lot of money in the private markets. So that part of going public is no longer there. We feel good about where we are. We feel good about the future. We’re just not ready for that kind of event”.
Kalanick did note that even though he hasn’t sold any of his own shares in the company, he is aware that some employees are looking for a way to make money from their stake. Uber employees and families will come with “pitchforks and torches” said Kalanick, demanding a way to get a payout of sorts. He did say that “some sort” of liquidity opportunity will eventually happen.
But as far as the potential IPO is concerned, “We’re just nowhere near it right now”.
SOURCE: Business Insider
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.