Taxis v2.0

I’m completely boggled by the vast amounts of money that’s looking to be invested. It’s been finding homes in Startups from AirBnB to Domo and Uber. The money raised by these Startups is so insane that Fortune dubs them unicorns. The king of the Unicorns is Uber.

Uber is ranked #1 on the list with a valuation of $62 Billion dollars.

Yes you read that right. 62 freaking billion dollars! How is that even possible for a taxi service? This means that Uber’s valuation is roughly equal to the entire GDP of Uzbekistan. What’s even crazier than this is that Uber owns no taxis! They just have a fancy app that allows you order car rides from people willing to rent their cars at the time you need a ride. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a novel idea and it’s definitely disrupting the old taxi cab business (competition is always good) but I can’t wrap my head around the $62 Billion valuation.

Of course there will be the shrill few that say the valuation is justified because they’ll just monetize all that data!” Alright, fair enough, but what do you think that data is really worth? In 2014 Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 Billion. That acquisition was believed to be mostly for WhatsApp’s data so if we add another 10% on top of that, we can guesstimate (back of the envelope calculation) that the data Uber is collecting might be worth $21 Billion. Let’s be nice, assume $25 Billion. That means the remaining $37 Billion is for the Uber App and the company.

I’m sorry, I don’t get it. Maybe the VCs are smarter than me and see something that I don’t. I still can’t wrap my head around a company that’s worth more than the GDP of Uzbekistan, is nearing a greater valuation than Ford and Honda, and has nothing more than some data and an App.

I’ll say it, I’ll jump on the bandwagon, the Startup world is in a bubble.

When will the bubble pop? Who knows. Just stay vigilant.

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