“Uber Is Said to Aim for I.P.O. Valuation of Up to $100 Billion” (nytimes) says that the company wants to raise $10 billion via an IPO. Crunchbase says that the company has already raised $24 billion privately. In a world that is swimming in capital, why not just raise another $10 billion from private sources? Make one phone call to Goldman Sachs and say “I would like $10 billion please.”
Can there be a reason to go public other than getting “dumb money” to pay higher prices than what private equity and other professional investors would pay?
The same article notes that the investors who paid up for Lyft shares have already suffered a loss of 15 percent (as with most nytimes stories, this is fake news? Yahoo Finance shows a loss of 23 percent during a period in which the S&P 500 is up about 1.5 percent).
On the third hand, where are the likely competitors to Uber? From a technical point of view it would seem that Google and Apple would be the natural competitors. They have mapping software and know where both riders and drivers are. But if neither of those companies wants to enter the messy business in which customers may be injured or assaulted, then who could realistically compete?
I wonder if the Uber programmers are more capable than their counterparts at Google Maps. Uber is much smarter about predicting my likely destination than Google.