Friday, January 22, 2016

In which people discuss things I don't understand...

    Facing a Price War, Uber Bets on Volume
    Over the first three quarters of 2015, Uber lost $1.7 billion on $1.2 billion in revenue. For perspective, during’s worst-ever four quarters, in 2000, it lost $1.4 billion on $2.8 billion in revenue. CEO Jeff Bezos responded by firing more than 15 percent of his workforce.
    Uber Is Raising More Money From Rich People
    Offering shares to retail investors with no financial disclosure is nothing new! Companies used to do it all the time! Then there was a Great Depression, and financials became rather strongly expected (by which I mean, legally required). In the subsequent decades, more expectations grew up, many of them enshrined in law, expectations about things like shareholder rights and corporate formalities. The public corporation was standardized around a model that worked pretty well. And pretty much the only way to be a big company was to be a public company, so that standard model imposed itself broadly.

    But in recent years it's become much easier to get pretty much whichever advantages of the public corporation you want -- bigness, name recognition, investment-banker attention, regular access to massive amounts of capital from mutual funds and retail investors, liquidity for employees and early investors -- without the things that you don't want -- activists, short sellers, volatility and, sure, financial disclosure. The rules that everyone thought were binding aren't binding anymore. You want to raise billions of dollars from investors but keep control of your company, limit financial disclosure and have approval rights over who gets to buy? Sure, you can do that now.

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