Following two deals in the span of a week (with Swipe Labs and Yandex), we took a closer look at how Uber behaves as a strategic investor.
In September 2014, then-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick boasted about Uber’s commitment to non-acquisitive growth. “Uber has not acquired a single company,” Kalanick said at a tech conference. “We are focused on the product. We are in 45 countries. We haven’t spent time on M&A.”
That era of Uber’s history is over. Uber recently completed its tenth major transaction as an investor with the acquihire of social app studio Swipe Labs. The Swipe Labs acquisition came less than a week after news of Uber’s deal with competitor Yandex Taxi, in which Uber ceded its Russian operations to Yandex in exchange for a 36.6% stake in a new joint company (created from their merged assets in the Russia market).
Uber started acquiring and investing in startups in Q1’15, and nearly every deal has had notable consequences for the business, including:
- Patent acquisitions (and lawsuits)
- Market share concession
- Business-unit creation and management shifts
We used the CB Insights database to take a closer look at the company’s M&A history to see how Uber behaves as a strategic investor now that its non-acquisitive era is over.