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Uber’s latest valuation: $72 billion

That’s the new claim in the settlement agreement between Uber and Waymo.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Scott Olson / Getty

How much a company is worth is always a bit of an artificial question in Silicon Valley. That’s especially true with Uber.

The settlement between Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber on Friday valued the company at $72 billion, which sources involved in the negotiation say is the company’s valuation after SoftBank invested $1.25 billion in the company last month. That’s higher than had been reported.

Uber was valued at $62.5 billion before accepting $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia in June 2016. Other investors during that deal chipped in another $2.1 billion, meaning the total $5.6 billion round valued the company at $68.1 billion, post money, meaning when you include the hard cash.

When Uber gave up in China and sold that region’s business to Didi, Didi invested $1 billion at the existing valuation, according to reports, which should’ve boosted the valuation to $69 billion — that is, post money.

Reuters reported a Malaysian pension fund invested an additional $30 million at an unknown valuation in September 2016. Then came an investment from German publisher Axel Springer — again, with few financial details.

When you add in the $1.25 billion investment from SoftBank, you end up at between $70 and $71 billion — though there remain some unknown investment sizes and valuation figures. So it’s conceivable that the company is now worth around $72 billion, maybe with some rounding, on private markets.

To make things more complicated, most of the SoftBank investment valued Uber at merely $48 billion in what’s known as secondary share sales, meaning the price at which existing Uber investors sold their stock. It’s not unusual for secondary sales to come at a below-market rate. The issue with privately held companies is that it is difficult to buy and sell shares internally. That’s especially true at Uber, where the marketplace is fairly closed due to company restrictions on stock sales.

The only valuation that really matters at the end of the day, though, is what happens when Uber goes public. That’ll determine how much Alphabet was paid to drop its case.

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