• Uber recently completed a series F funding round, valuing the company at $51B.
  • That round made Uber the second private company after Facebook to cross the $50B valuation.
  • Uber will likely cross far higher than the $50B line due to the JOBS Act changes since Facebook’s IPO.
  • However, while Facebook’s valuation survived though the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, Uber’s valuation grew during six years of a bull market.
  • Uber - $50B Valuation

    123RF Stock Photo

    In an article published earlier last week, I covered Uber’s valuation and financials as they appeared in public media. Uber has an astonishing valuation of $51B and an incredible demand for Uber stocks, which is reflected by the ease of raising new funds even with skyrocketing stock prices. That reminded me of another famous $50B private company that everyone wanted a piece of before it went public – Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)

    It was only three years ago that Facebook, the biggest venture-backed startup in the world, was forced to go public when it exceeded the maximum number of shareholders a private company could have in the pre-JOBS Act era. At the beginning of 2011, Facebook raised $1.5B from DST Global and Goldman Sachs, valuing the company at $50B, and structured the deal in such a way that it dodged the SEC limitation of 500-max shareholders for a private company. By many, that last funding round and Goldman Sachs’s efforts not to cross the 500 shareholders limitation signaled that Facebook was about to go public. Facebook halted its IPO plans as it lobbied in the Senate in favor of upping the restrictions from 500 shareholders to 2,000 as part of the JOBS Act. However, the JOBS Act was finalized late, and Facebook had to go public in the meantime.

    As shown in Chart 1 below, seven years after Facebook was founded, it reached a $50B valuation in the private markets, but  it took Uber only six years to achieve the same milestone. Could this mean that Uber will also be forced to go public soon?

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