Startups

This Week In Ridesharing Money

Morning Report: Another week, another pile of money has gone into what we generally call “ridesharing.”

Ridesharing, as a term, encapsulates a host of mobility-centered services that are designed to get you around your city. Collectively, ridesharing companies are among the most successful fundraising entities in the world, which makes them quite fun to watch as a group.

The cohort did not disappoint this week. Instead, it made a host of headlines that we might as well begin to curate into the Ridesharing Money Report, but the world very much doesn’t need yet another newsletter, so this bullet point list will have to suffice.

  • Warren Buffett nearly invested in Uber. Buffett nearly invested $3 billion into Uber earlier this year, but it fell through. As the WSJ notes, “[Buffett’s company] has a history of investing in troubled companies in exchange for favorable terms.” Yes it does. And thus, in a sense, Buffett indicated that Uber probably hit a local minimum. I wonder at what valuation Warren was considering making the deal.
  • Bird might grow a horn. Earlier this week, news broke that Bird may raise $150 million more at a $1 billion valuation. That would make it the first scooter-unicorn. Yes, that was fast. No, the math doesn’t work. Maybe, investors will do well by letting FOMO, in this case, drive their wire transfers.
  • Lime is fundraising. Speaking of scooters, Lime is still out there raising money. No word yet on terms, but coverage is still pretty thick, and recurring.
  • SoftBank invests in Cruise. And finally, here’s Axios’ Dan Primack: “General Motors […] said that SoftBank Vision Fund will invest up to $2.25 billion into its Cruise self-driving program, with GM itself investing an additional $1.1 billion.” First, h0t damn. Second, it’s bad for Lyft, which Uber GM has invested in. But Cruise will now share an investor with Uber, which, in case you haven’t heard, competes with Lyft.

Someone is going to make short-range mobility work at a profit. I don’t know who, or what model or mode of transit, but someone will. And that’s good for us, the transit-takers. How many billions will get blended in the process, however, is a number that seems to go up every month.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

SoftBank invests $2.25B in Cruise

SoftBank is making a bit bet on autonomous cars. The firm’s Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in General Motors’ self-driving car unit, Cruise. GM will also put $1.1 billion more into Cruise after the deal closes.

Meeker publishes annual report

Famed tech analyst Mary Meeker released a pared down but still massive annual Internet Trends report showing, among other things, that the average adult spends nearly 6 hours a day on digital media.

Nexus targets $450M for new fund

Nexus Venture Partners, a VC firm that backs founders in India and the U.S., is seeking $450 million for a new fund, according to a securities filing.

Klaxoon secures $50M for meetings

Virtual meeting startup Klaxoon has raised $50 million in a Series B round led by Idinvest Partners.

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