Uber Snags $1.2Bil in Funding at $17Bil Valuation: Deal Investors Drive Record Raise for Car-Ride Service

A BrokerDealer.com/blog special:

Bankers, Broker-Dealers, venture and private equity investors, and the universe of fast-growth start-ups who keep an eye on the pulse of pre-IPO funding rounds were salivating on Friday after Uber, the car ride service, announced it raised $1.2bil from “institutional investors, mutual funds, private equity and venture capital,” with a second round of investors coming soon. The new round of financing values the company at a total $18.2 billion. The company’s pre-money valuation, not counting the latest round of funding, was $17 billion.

Investors hope the company, which allows users to summon a ride on their smartphones, can expand globally and diversify into logistics.
The investors in the round valued Uber “pre-money” at $17 billion, the blog post said. The $1.2 billion infusion took the startup’s valuation to $18.2 billion.

Fidelity Investments put in about $425 million, Wellington Management added $209 million and BlackRock Inc contributed $175 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Venture firms Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures also participated in the round, a person familiar with the matter said. Kleiner’s investment came from its Digital Growth Fund, run by former stock analyst Mary Meeker, known for her bullish recommendations during the first dot-com boom. Her fund has had recent hits, including traffic app Waze, acquired last year for $1.1 billion by Google.

“Uber is one of the most rapidly growing companies ever, and we believe there are opportunities for continued tremendous growth,” Joan Miller, a spokeswoman for Summit Partners, an investor in the funding round, said by telephone.Uber, which did not give details about its latest investors, operates in 128 cities across 37 countries.

Kalanick said he expected to close a second round of funding from strategic investors of about $200 million


Africa Broker-Dealers: Growing Flowers and Seed Investors

As a follow-up to BrokerDealer.com/blog spotlighting KKR’s investment in flower firm Afriflora, a description of the African Securities Exchange Association (ASEA), which brings together members from the 23 securities exchanges in Africa  can be found here.

Africa investor, the trading platform from Marco Polo World  seamlessly connects African Brokers and Exchanges with global buy side originators, broker dealers and exchange points. It represents the most formidable order dissemination and execution network for Africa available in the market today.

If you’re considering trading into and out of Africa and emerging markets, talking with the Africa investor Marco Polo Network should be your first step. We offer the simplicity of a single connection to African and emerging markets around the globe.

For firms that originate trades into Africa and local brokers that execute them, The Africa investor Marco Polo is the electronic, FIX-enabled trading network that brings transactions into compliance with regional rules and regulations, allowing for seamless cross-border transactions.

These capabilities are multi-directional. Traders that are based in Africa use the same platform to execute trades outside of their own borders, without worrying about different versions of FIX or trading rules and regulations in other countries.

As a network built by capital markets professionals for capital markets professionals, we provide instant infrastructure, reliable transaction messaging, and comprehensive 24/6 client support in all markets. Our goal is to support African exchanges and free traders to focus on what they do best.

Bankers Smell Opportunity in Africa Flower Deal; Private Equity Firm KKR Brings Home the Roses

BrokerDealer.com deal spotlight courtesy of Simon Clark reporting for the Wall Street Journal.

LONDON—For private-equity giant KKR +0.30% & Co., a debut investment in Africa smells of sweetheart roses. {And for others seeking investment capital for Africa-based opportunities, BrokerDealer.com provides a global resources of brokers, dealers and private investors seeking new deal opportunities}

KKR is investing about $200 million in Ethiopian flower company Afriflora; above, an Afriflora worker. Afriflora

KKR is investing about $200 million in Ethiopian flower company Afriflora; above, an Afriflora worker. Afriflora

Afriflora is an Ethiopian company that grows about 730 million of the flowers a year for export to Europe, making it a significant player in the east African country’s blossoming cut flower export industry. KKR is investing about $200 million from its $6.2 billion European fund to buy a stake in the company, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

The deal opens a new chapter for KKR, the New York-based firm best-known for its hostile $25 billion leveraged takeover of RJR Nabisco RAI +1.47% in 1988, the subject of the book “Barbarians at the Gate.”It also comes as private-equity firms, seeking opportunities outside the crowded markets of North America and Europe, show tentative interest in Africa. KKR rival, Washington-based Carlyle Group CG -0.34% LP, raised a $698 million African fund earlier this year and has invested in a food distributor and a logistics company, for instance.

Private-equity investment in sub-Saharan Africa increased 43% to $1.6 billion in 2013 from the previous year, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Investors are attracted by fast economic growth in some countries on the continent. The Ethiopian economy grew by an average 10.6% a year between 2004 and 2012, according to the World Bank.

“We see Africa as a long-term attractive investment destination,” said Kayode Akinola, head of KKR’s African operations. “The potential is astounding. But the work to get there is going to be considerable.”

For the full story from the Wall Street Journal, click here