One of Uber's biggest influences on the wider world of startups, though, is how long the business remained private, serving as the de facto leader of a whole cohort of companies and transforming the VC exit landscape. Before, the industry didn't know what to make of a startup raising so much cash and staying private for so long. In fact, people have been predicting Uber was about to go public since 2014.
This week, though, at long last that moment arrived. Was it as momentous a debut as had once been predicted? It was not. But it was still pretty momentous. The arrival of Uber's endlessly awaited IPO is one of 11 things you need to know from the past week:
1. At lastUber ultimately priced its steadily shrinking IPO at $45 per share, near the low end of its expected range, raising $8.1 billion and establishing an initial undiluted valuation of $75.5 billion. Shares in the company began trading Friday even lower, at $42 apiece; they ticked up a couple dollars during intraday trading, but ultimately closed down further still, at $41.57. It certainly wasn't the first-day pop the company hoped for. But new millionaires were minted. Kalanick and his father crashed the floor of the NYSE. It was all a tremendous to-do.
The offering brought very different levels of profits for the company's backers. The venture capital business is about making the right bets. But it's also about making those bets at the right time. And some of Uber's investors certainly placed their bets at better times than others.
The big winner is Benchmark, the firm with the obnoxiously obscure website whose name has been more closely associated with Uber than any other VC. It holds an 8.5% post-IPO interest in Uber after unloading nearly 6 million shares in the offering, leaving a remaining stake that, as of Friday's close, was worth about $6 billion.
And most of those billions are pure profit. Benchmark was one of Uber's earliest investors, dating back to when it led an $11 million Series A for the company more than eight years ago. According to the company's S-1 filing, the price per share in that Series A was barely 7 cents—which of course equates to an insane return at Uber's IPO price.
It's a different story for some of Uber's later backers, including those who participated in a $1.25 billion Series G about 16 months ago. In that round, the company valued its shares at $48.77 apiece—which, you might notice, is higher than Friday's closing per-share price.
At least one later entrant to the party, though, will still make out OK: That would be SoftBank, Uber's largest backer, with a 12.8% post-IPO stake. While the tech investing giant didn't take its stake in Uber until last year, the company is still set to bank a $3 billion paper profit on its initial $7.7 billion investment.