Uber is reeling.
Allegations about its treatment of women have hurt its brand among investors, riders and engineers. The company is facing lawsuits on several fronts and has huge holes in senior leadership, which could make it hard to raise more funding, while shares of Lyft are suddenly in hot demand among investors.
And as previously reported, Uber burns a lot of cash — a reported $2.8 billion in 2016 alone — to keep drivers and riders on its app.
What happens if Uber can't go public, can't raise another round of funding, and disappears?
We asked three investors for their take. Here's what they said.
Investors would be fine — but others would suffer. Waze and Moovit co-founder Uri Levine said, "It's not investors you should worry about, but Uber's employees, drivers and users."
Seven-year-old Uber now employs about 12,000 full-time. Millions of drivers rely on its platform to find fares and generate income as independent contractors. And the company has boasted that 20 million people have downloaded its ride-hailing app.
If Uber fizzles, employees would lose their stock options at a minimum. If Uber folded entirely, employees and drivers would face unemployment, and riders would be left waiting for other services to fill the void in transportation.
Tech investor Bedy Yang, a managing partner with 500 Startups, said, "If Uber failed, investors would be hurt only if they paid a high price for their shares, and have Uber as the single standout in their fund. But that's not how investing works, generally. Investors generally learned that lesson in the dotcom bust. Firms do not bet everything on a single company."
Uber's investors have included everyone from tech juggernauts like Google (via its venture arm GV) and Microsoft, to financial firms like Lowercase Capital, NEA, Goldman Sachs, TPG Growth and BlackRock, to even Jay-Z.