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Photo: Jaap Arriens / Getty Images

What is Uber really worth? That's a big question right now, as SoftBank is prepping a private tender that could value the company as low as $50 billion or as high as the $70 billion that it got in its last funding round. But one shareholder, who asked to remain anonymous, argues to Axios that a comparable analysis actually should value Uber at upwards of $95 billion.

Here's the math:

  • Comp #1: Lyft's gross revenue for Q2 2017 reportedly came in at around $1 billion, and it recently raised new funding from Google at a $10 billion pre-money valuation. That works out to a 2.5x multiple on annualized gross revenue.
  • Comp #2: Didi Chuxing's gross revenue for Q2 2017 came in at around $5.75 billion, per a source, and was valued in May by SoftBank at $45 billion pre-money. That works out to a 1.95x multiple on annualized gross revenue.
  • Applied: Uber's gross revenue for Q2 2017 reportedly was $8.7 billion, or $34.8 billion annualized. Were it to receive the multiple applied to Lyft, the valuation would be $87 billion. If it received the multiple applied to Didi, the valuation would be nearly $68 billion.
  • Addition: Uber owns a 17% stake in Didi, which should be worth $8.5 billion (based on the May post-money).
  • New valuation range: $76.5 billion to $95.5 billion, depending on if you use the Didi or Lyft multiple. One could argue Didi is a better comp because it's a larger company, or one could argue Lyft is better because it's U.S.-based and its valuation is more current.

Transparency: The shareholder is among those expected to receive the tender offer from SoftBank, so has a vested interest in the Japanese firm proposing a high price. But that doesn't change the math.

Additional caveat: None of this takes into account non-financial arguments that SoftBank could make for discounting the tender, such as Uber's recent management tumult, self-inflicted PR wounds, litigation risk and shareholder motivation to enact governance changes that are tied to the deal close. Also, there arguably is some valuation circularity at play here — Didi and Lyft valuations climb because of Uber valuation, and then Uber valuation climbs based on Didi and Lyft valuations.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.