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Mark Cuban says Uber's poor IPO is a wake-up call for Silicon Valley: 'They just waited too long'

CNBC logo CNBC 6 days ago Michael Sheetz
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Mark Cuban, billionaire investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, told CNBC on Tuesday that Uber’s disappointing initial public offering last week was “not a surprise” because the ride-hailing company waited too long to go public, losing the momentum early companies typically have.

“It’s not a growth company,” Cuban said in a phone interview with Scott Wapner on “Halftime Report.”

“They just waited too long. There’s nothing exciting about it,” Cuban added. “I don’t think you could have expected anything different ... the reality is you’re nine years in and you’re still having to buy your revenue. That’s not a good sign.”

Cuban said four years ago he invested $1 million in Uber’s competitor Lyft, which had its own disappointing IPO in March. He believes Lyft, like Uber, waited too long. In Uber’s case, he blamed its investors. Even the underwriters of Uber’s offering became worried that the IPO was in trouble, resorting just days before to an unusual tactic called a “naked short” to support the company’s stock.

“I just think we’re seeing a reflection of the Silicon Valley ethos in the public market. The whole attitude was wait, wait, wait, wait, wait,” Cuban said.

Mark Cuban holding a camera: Mark Cuban attends Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary launches symposium celebrating global entrepreneurship at Casa Loma on April 5, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.© Provided by CNBC LLC Mark Cuban attends Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary launches symposium celebrating global entrepreneurship at Casa Loma on April 5, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.

Cuban said Uber reflects poorly on the California region’s venture capital investors, saying it “suggests they’re not very good at valuing companies and it’s not a very efficient market when it comes to late-stage companies in evaluating IPOs.” In reaction, he said, a shift in choosing investors will come from CEOs and employees of private companies, who Cuban said “are going to be smarter.”

“I think it will impact their hiring abilities first for a lot of unicorns, and that will have the greatest impact — more so than how or when they go public,” Cuban said.

He said his two largest equity positions are Netflix and Amazon, noting that they have been his top investments “for years.”

In the CNBC interview, Cuban also did not rule out running for the president in 2020 as an independent.

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