“We ain’t even spose to be here…If you escaped what I escaped, you’d be in Paris getting f’d up too…That s**t cray.” - Jay-Z
“It’s not, like, ‘We’re here! We’re balling harder than everybody.’ “It’s like, ‘I’m shocked that we’re here.’ Still being amazed, still not being jaded. Having so much fun and then stopping and saying, ‘What are we doing here? How did we get here?’“ –Jay-Z
I’m thrilled to announce today that Menlo Ventures is leading a $32m Series B investment in Uber (authorized to extend to $39m), an on-demand car services company that is truly revolutionizing personal transportation. Travis Kalanick is on stage at LeWeb in Paris at this moment announcing the funding and the launch of UberEurope. We’re proud to be joined with other investors like Goldman Sachs, Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos) and previous investors like Benchmark Capital and Lowercase Capital. Founded in 2009, Uber has already radically changed how people in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. and Boston get around town – and now the company is going global, bringing its service to Paris.
Uber is my largest investment since joining Menlo in June and I am honored to join the company’s board as a board observer. On a personal level, as an immigrant son of a Washington D.C. cab driver who came to this country with nothing and allowed his kids to pursue the American dream, this investment has special meaning for me. I visited my father in Washington last night and reminisced about the past and how Uber is about to launch in Washington this month. He’s going to attend the launch party next week in Washington with me.
How many chances do we get to help build a global brand that brings delight, happiness and magic to people’s lives around the world? This investment is a rare opportunity to help build a global brand that will will soon be as ubiquitous as FedEx in the major cities of the world.
And it’s even more rare – and exhilarating – to work with a co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, and a team that are passionate and obsessed with eliminating a frustration point so many people thought they had no control over. If you know Travis, you know he is one of the most gnarly, passionate and obsessed entrepreneurs you will ever meet. He’s an inspiration to us all. His vision is going to transform our world.
If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you know how maddening it can sometimes be to get personal transportation options, especially in bad weather or when you’re running late. Uber eliminates that pain, letting you pull out your iPhone and have a private sedan routed to you in just minutes with the push of a button. It’s a service that brings pleasure, magic and efficiency to the world, giving you your time back and letting you spend it with people you love, rather than dealing with petty inconveniences. Uber is about freedom and convenience.
Beyond helping people have a richer social life, Uber’s also a model of collaborative commerce and efficiently tackling excess capacity. Drivers who previously were underutilized, sitting around waiting for utilization and demand while burning gas, can now be more efficient – and earn substantially more than they used to.
It’s about about leveraging mobile technology to enable an elegant solution to a complex problem set leading to a magical consumer experience. If you want more details, here’s a link to the latest news on Uber’s site (www.uber.com) and join us for the ride and journey ahead! Onwards.
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