The investment was by far the largest GV investment. However, while seemingly wealthy, the investment, driven by current GV general manager David Cranes, looks bright in hindsight. (It also seems complicated, of course, with Google spin-off Waymo now sued Uber for allegedly stealing his trade secrets.)
Maris recently launched his own venture, Section32, but as the founder of GV, he claims a significant interest in the future, and he suggests he would buy it again after this week – at his present $ 68 billion Rating – If I could find only one seller.
We talked to Maris about his new enthusiasm for the company today. Our chat was easily edited for length.
AC: They closed on a debut fund of $ 150,000,000 in May. How many investments have you made since then?
BM: There is a long list: BloomAPI, Embark, Freenome, Coinbase, Auris. About ten became public and some were in stealth mode.
AC: You told me that you would invest in your current Uber valuation. That would require a lot of money. Can you check any size you like?
BM: I have a wide range to make investments that I think are worth it.
If I look at it now, I think it is not so expensive that I am very optimistic and optimistic about the future of the company. I am excited about the new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who is very similar to a principle leader of specific factories. And I feel like Uber is a buy now, not a sale.
AC: You say “now.” Have you felt different lately?
BM: I could have felt more pessimistic. Now I can say there is a light.
What I have observed in the conversation with other investors and people is that this feeling of anxiety has now changed towards optimism and emotion.
AC: You own a stake in your existing employer risk fund. Have you tried buying shares from another seller recently? You have come here?
BM: It’s better not to comment. I will find that the groups that were sellers have disappeared and I think it would be silly [otherwise] given what happened. There is a big risk, of course, but the company has a lot of potential, especially that the people who work there are laid off again. If you believe that Khosrowshahi can lead the company successfully, you will see it as a unique investment opportunity.
AC: For $ 68 billion Do you believe that, as the benchmark has said, it is estimated that it will exceed 100 billion dollars in the not too distant future?
BM: I said [so long ago] and I saw a lot of laugh and ridicule, but I certainly believe it. Companies that reach an exit rate of 10 billion dollars, and even more often than not, will not be zero. The company faces a lot of risk, but the figures revealed last week showed incredible growth and losses reduce, and that was without the CEO or CFO, so you can imagine what with a great team Management Employees can believe.
AC: Have you ever met Khosrowshahi?
BM: I did not, but he says and does everything right and I think it’s a brilliant choice.
AC: What are you doing from Benchmark claiming in a lawsuit that Kalanick cheated the board?
BM: What I know of these things I read in the newspaper. It is similar to the White House. I do not want to look but it leaks through and is twisted like: What happened now?
It is always unattractive when disputes play in public, be it the president and his staff or a venture fund and a start-up. Hopefully [this suit] is resolved happily and if not both sides are equally unhappy with the result.
There are so many problems in the world; [Stories about Uber] are a cognitive tension that none of us need. If I had never had a different story about the boardroom drama in Uberlesen, it would be fantastic. It’s not interesting right now, is it?
AC: And yet, there is always a development, including the fact that the judicial authority has opened an interim investigation into whether some of Uber’s managers violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. How do you care about your shareholder?
BM: Whenever the DOJ opens an investigation, it is not good. There is something to keep in mind. I know that we have become very aware of Google, and with a fast growing company, you need to be particularly aware. But I do not want to speculate. If a mistake was made, then justice is expected to be served, and if not, I hope that no one is suffering unnecessarily.
AC: And this Waymo demands?
BM: I’m sure it will work. Someone will win or settle down.
AC: Khosrowshahi told the employees today that Uber could go public in 18 to 36 months. This must be music for the ears of the shareholders.
BM: It’s a perfectly reasonable estimate to get the management team and win the hearts and minds of employees and drivers. All these things take time.
And [yes, it’s a relief] to have a timeline. What about layer-and-dagger games [under Kalanick, who have actively avoided talking about a stock exchange]? The [Khosrowshahi] said that what he was doing gave me only more faith that this is an experienced executive.
Especially the employees have been left out of the equation, and I think [Khosrowshahi] can help them feel them that they have been on a winning team, especially after the scandals and so much bad news.
AC: Let’s say you can not buy more shares of the company until it is released. Are you investing in the stock exchange?
BM: Ask me then! Market capitalization is simply a discounted future cash flow and will be strongly dependent on all issues at this time: the demand for benchmark, the demand for Waymo, the management that exists, the historical growth record of the company and whether its growth will continue. This is a call you are making at the moment.
I mean, if you’ve been an investor on Google’s stock exchange and kept your stock so far, you’d probably feel so good.