Bits & Atoms
As many of you have seen in the press today, Uber recently closed a financing round. We want to make sure the facts are clear and confirmed. 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. This round is $258 million with proceeds to be used to expand into new markets, accelerate rider and driver acquisition, and fight off protectionist, anti-competitive efforts.
The financing was led by Google Ventures with TPG Capital participating. David Drummond, Google’s SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer will be joining Uber’s board. David Bonderman, founding partner of TPG, will also be joining the board. We’re also looking forward to working with David Krane from Google Ventures and David Trujillo from TPG, each of whom will help deliver strategic value as partners in this investment.
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.”
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 and Google Ventures 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 director from Google that will help us navigate the company and provide the strategic advice as our regulatory efforts follow Uber’s launches across Europe and Asia.
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.
We have developed a new pilot program – Xchange Leasing – which is a leasing option administered by an Uber subsidiary and designed to fit with the flexibility that drivers value most. The Xchange lease is one of a kind, and offers value that traditional auto leases do not provide. Unlike most multi-year leases that have high fees for early termination, drivers who participate in Xchange for at least 30 days will be able to return the car with only two weeks notice, and limited additional costs. The program allows for unlimited mileage and the option to lease a used car, with routine maintenance also included.
A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.
New technologies are creating opportunities no one could have imagined. To understand Uber’s place in that trend, we commissioned a survey of our driver-partners and put together a comprehensive analysis.