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FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo, an Uber driver sits in his car near the San Francisco International Airport. Uber and advocates for the blind have reached a lawsuit settlement in which the ride-hailing company agrees to require that existing and new drivers confirm they understand their legal obligations to transport riders with guide dogs or other service animals. The settlement is designed to resolve a lawsuit in federal court that alleges Uber discriminates against passengers with service dogs. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
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HONESTLY

Uber would like you to believe its execs “literally spend no time” thinking about an IPO

By Alice Truong

Silicon Valley is waiting with bated breath for Uber’s IPO, but it appears the company, reportedly valued by private investors at $62.5 billion, isn’t even thinking about going public. Or so it says.

At an investor conference hosted by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in San Francisco today (May 10), Uber chief financial officer Gautam Gupta was asked when an Uber IPO might happen.

“I couldn’t tell you if I wanted to, honestly,” he said. “And the reason is, like, we literally spend no time internally as a management team thinking about an IPO. The fact of the matter is we’re just so busy trying to build an amazing company that we haven’t gotten to it. But also keep in mind, we’re a six-year-old company.”

It’s a bit farfetched to think that the man tapped to be Uber’s CFO has spent zero time considering an IPO, especially when said CFO previously served as a vice president at Goldman Sachs, and spent his introductory remarks talking about his experience helping take companies public.

Gautum said he believes “there will come a time” for an Uber IPO, while CEO Travis Kalanick has said he’s “going to make sure it happens as late as possible.”

There are two reasons why companies go public, Gautum said. One is access to capital; the other is a “moral obligation to early employees and early investors who put in blood, sweat and tears to make the company what it is.”

Addressing the former, Gautum said Uber is lucky because it already has “a fairly strong balance sheet.” As for the latter, he didn’t exactly answer it, except to note the company’s still young.