Uber and Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) are two companies with contrasting approaches to raising capital. Uber is a privately owned global on-demand taxi services while Pandora is a publicly listed global on-demand radio, and entertainment service provider. There strategies on raising capital is a clear manifestation of the importance of critical thinking on equity decisions when a company is starting and the most appropriate time for the company to go public.
Pandora last week hired Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) with the primary objective of finding a buyer. The sale seems a fast disposal act since the company has already lost 60% of its value in the last three months.
On the other end, Uber is flying high with Morgan Stanley’s offer to their big-ticket clients, a piece of Uber-action through the New Riders Fund LLP. This is a 290 pages document, which is stating that Uber can be invested in without reservations and inhibitions.
The best part about Uber’s startegy is not only that the company’s valuation of above $62.5 billion dollars but also the fact that investors will not directly own Uber equity. What this basically means is that an investor will be investing in a growing enterprise which is characterized by knows and unknowns. If the company performs well, investors go up south and if it fairs poorly, investors go down south. The document itself shows that Uber is more interested in building a global enterprise as opposed to going public.
Pandora never had the time to learn how to sell and market their products effectively. Comparing them to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Apple Music, which has 10 million paid users, and no free tier. While Pandora claims to have 250 million users though only 3 million are paying users.
Pandora went public early enough, they never learnt fully the concept of proper marketing and selling since they always had money siting in the bank. At one time they paid $75 million to Rdio which was in fact a bankrupt company and again they paid $475 million for acquiring TicketFly which never matured into a revenue source.
Uber will at one time go public and will have valuable stock for a long time. Luckily for them, they would have fully established themselves globally and with the right marketing strategies in place.