As Uber’s valuation has climbed, talk of an imminent IPO has gotten louder. But it is still in the ride-sharing platform’s best interest to remain private say some analysts, and they expect the company will do just that.
In a recent valuation, the company became the only venture-capital-backed startup other than Facebook to ever reach a $50 billion valuation.
“We think that if they could go public, they would,” says Kathleen Smith, principal of Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused Exchange Traded Funds.
But she points out that the public companies analysts may ultimately compare to Uber haven’t been doing so well. GrubHub and Zillow have seen their stocks down 25 percent over the past three months, for example.
While venture capitalists, mutual funds and other private investors can only see upside in a zero-interest environment where growth is hard to find, public investors would be skeptical of a public Uber, Smith explains, just as they've asked tough questions about companies like Twitter and Yelp.
“We’re not in 1999 anymore,” she says.
Matthew Wong, a research analyst with venture capital database CB Insights, says private capital is sufficiently flush that Uber may as well stay put.
Going public would mean greater scrutiny and expectations for consistent growth, a combination that would work against Uber while it faces regulatory uncertainty and fierce competition in across the globe, he says.
The company is trying to expand it’s reach into markets such as India, where it is having to expend a lot of resources while not necessarily making a lot of money just yet, Wong comments.
“For Uber, you know, I don’t think they’re going to go public anytime soon,” he says.
He says the company probably won't go public until next year or later.