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IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT

Uber’s biggest investors include SoftBank, Google, and the Saudi Arabian government

By Natasha Frost

Silicon Valley billionaires, world-famous entrepreneurs, Uber veterans: These are the largest investors in ride-hail company Uber, which today filed paperwork to go public.

In the 10 years since its inception, Uber has found support among some of the world’s biggest backers, with outsized pockets to match. Its largest shareholder is SoftBank (SB Cayman 2), which invested $9.3 billion of its Vision Fund in the company last year.

Stockholders Shares (in thousands)
SB Cayman 2 Ltd. 222,228
Entities affiliated with Benchmark Capital Partners 150,079
Entities affiliated with Expa-1, LLC 81,575
The Public Investment Fund 72,841
Entities affiliated with Alphabet Inc. 71,097

Other shareholders include Google’s Alphabet and Garrett Camp’s startup studio Expa-1. American venture capital firm Benchmark Capital Partners, which first made it big in 1999 by investing in eBay, sold $900 million of its Uber stock to buyers including SoftBank in January of last year.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has also invested in Uber, sending $3.5 billion by wire transfer—then the largest payment ever sent in one lump sum—in June 2016. It remains the largest investment made by a foreign government in a venture-backed startup.

Directors and named executive officers Shares (in thousands)
Matt Cohler 150,079
Travis Kalanick 117,505
Garrett Camp 81,575
H.E. Yasir Al-Rumayyan* 72,963
Ryan Graves 33,184
Thuan Pham 5,379
Dara Khosrowshahi 196
Ronald Sugar 131
Ursula Burns 130
John Thain 130
Barney Harford 105
Wan Ling Martello 43
Arianna Huffington 22

*Consists of 122,489 shares of common stock held by Al-Rumayyan and 72.8 million shares of common stock held by The Public Investment Fund. Al-Rumayyan is the fund’s managing director.

Among Uber’s shareholders, veteran Silicon Valley investor Matt Cohler comes out on top, though that’s just because he’s the named director for Benchmark Capital’s 11% share of the company. Cohler was one of the earliest Facebook employees, and a general partner at Benchmark. At 42, he’s among the younger people on Uber’s board, where ages range from 35 to 70. Ronald Sugar, the chairperson of the board, is the oldest.

Uber co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp retain significant shares in the business, though neither has played a significant role in its day-to-day operations in the past two years. Kalanick resigned from Uber in 2017 following sustained controversy about its allegedly toxic work culture. He was accused of contributing to a climate of sexual harassment, including by taking a staff group to an escort bar while on a business trip. Camp’s shares are tied up in Expa Labs, his hothouse for Silicon Valley startups.

Ryan Graves, 35, was Uber’s original CEO. He stepped down in 2017, after being accused of being aware of Uber’s “greyballing,” a legally dubious tactic used to evade global authorities. Graves now owns and runs the investment company Saltwater.

Uber’s largest shareholders also include present-day employees Thuan Pham, the company’s CTO, as well as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and COO Barney Harford.

Uber has three women among its non-employee directors: Ursula Burns, the former head of Xerox and first black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company; Wan Ling Martello, Nestlé’s former CFO; and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington. With SVPs Jill Hazelbaker and Nikki Krishnamurthy, they make up just over 26% of the board.

Correction (April 12): An earlier version of this post stated that Cohler is no longer with Benchmark, and that he is an individual shareholder in Uber. He is the named director for shares held by Benchmark.