Friday, June 23, 2017

Uber Insiders Want to Sell But There Is No Longer a Two-Sided Private Market

This was posted before Mr. Kalanick's resignation but is probably still true.

From ZeroHedge, June 19:
With the CEO on 'temporary' leave, and lacking most of the C-suite, Uber's seemingly endless stream of PR disasters has finaly begun to impact its 'king of unicorns' status as CNBC reports a growing number of insiders are seeking to sell their shares. But buyers are hard to find.
As a gentle reminder, here is a snapshot of some of the most notable scandals that have emerged, involving the world's most valuable private company:...
[insert 19 point recitation]
... This list is by no means comprehensive, but appears to be enough straws to break the unicorn's back, as CNBC reports, there's an imbalance in the market for private sales of Uber as insiders look to cash out.
"The demand side has dried up relative to the sell side," said Larry Albukerk, managing director of EB Exchange, a San Francisco broker that has arranged private sales of tech-company shares since 1999. "We're getting calls all the time from people who want to sell" at least part of their Uber stake, said Albukerk.

Uber employees have long faced tighter restrictions on share sales compared to workers at other tech start-ups. Arranging private share sales for Uber insiders has been notoriously difficult, said Albukerk, because CEO Travis Kalanick has kept a tight grip on transactions.

Another secondary market broker, who asked not to be named so as not to endanger his relationship with clients, said Uber has a "lockdown" on private sales.
Some have suggested that loosening restrictions at Uber could boost employee morale and make the company more attractive to prospective talent. 

However, doing so now could cause a rush to sell by early employees and investors, who so far have been unable to realize any gains, and exacerbate the already dismal optics of the company.