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What's that? Uber isn't actually worth $82bn? Reverse-gear IPO shows the gig (economy) is up

Debut skids off the road as people reluctantly admit they hoped everyone else's stupidity would help them cash out

It couldn't have happened to a nastier company.

San Francisco-based Uber has had a miserable stock market debut. One of the most anticipated IPOs in years saw the tech biz value itself at $82bn with a share price of $45.

C'mon. Literally no one believes that Uber is actually worth $82bn, especially when it continues to lose billions of dollars every year, but everyone was hoping that everyone else would be stupid enough to imagine that everyone else was stupid enough to buy stock.

Well, it didn't pan out like that. The stock, debuting on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol UBER, started out at around $42.50 apiece, and the market desperately willed it to reach $45. But it was tough going. An hour after launch, it has clawed its way to $44.50 where it bobbed around for another hour before there was a collective "Fuck it!" and down she went.

The market closed before it became too unbearable: the ride-hailing app maker's shares finished down 7.6 per cent on its first day to $41.57.

Of course, the explanations are already coming thick and fast as to why this wasn't a disaster and why it was just bad luck on Uber's part, and how it will inevitably recover, and how the shares will at least give it $8bn to invest, and that it's still valued at 60 or 70-something billion dollars, and didn't Facebook have a hard time when it IPO'ed? And of course earlier investors are still going to make small fortunes.

But let's be honest, pretty much everything about gig-economy-darling Uber has been disappointing. Why would its stock market entrance be any different? ®

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