How going public might be the only way for Uber to dilute its deep Saudi link

Uber
A man checks his smartphone whilst standing amongst illuminated screens bearing the Uber Technologies Inc. logo in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photograph: Bloomberg

Even as Uber’s lawyers finalized the details of the deal, they still couldn’t quite believe it would really happen. The Saudi Arabian government was set to give the San Francisco-based startup $3.5 billion, an astronomical amount. The company’s legal team had to double-check that it was even possible to send that much money in a single wire transfer. But on June 1, 2016, the Saudi Public Investment Fund sent Uber Technologies Inc. the cash in one lump sum. It was the largest single investment from a foreign government to a venture-backed startup ever—and still is.

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