Uber lost key staffers in operational roles this year, including co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. The company is recovering from a damaging workplace culture investigation and a series of scuffles with regulators.
Uber's latest challenge has been to smooth things over with London regulators, who stripped the company of its license to operate in London. Alwaleed said he's confident the company can recover.
"We have a new CEO there, just appointed, and I think we should give him the time to get the company back on track. Travis was a genius in what he did, he is very smart," Alwaleed said. "Uber is at the vanguard of this project. Uber's going to make it for sure, no doubt about that."
Uber and Lyft, like many other companies, are looking at new ways to approach transportation. As more companies lean toward "the Tesla path" of electric vehicles, Alwaleed said Saudi investors are looking to diversify away from oil-related assets.
Alwaleed's reach extends far beyond transportation technology — he's also a prominent investor in Twitter. That company competes for advertising dollars with the like of Google and Facebook, but hasn't had the same quick ascent to dominance in the industry.
"Our investment in Twitter is part and parcel of a plan whereby Kingdom Holdings is moving from the old investments that we had to the new investments, like JD.com in China, like Twitter, Lyft, and Careem, which is another ride-hailing [company] in the Middle East," Alwaleed said. "We are very optimistic about that, obviously —Twitter. It's not going to be easy because now they're facing some difficulties. But our entry point was very reasonable so right now it's holding our breakeven point. So any good news from Mr. Jack Dorsey and his team at Twitter will reflect very much on Twitter."
Alwaleed said he thinks Twitter's rivals are monopolies. But while he has wound down his stake in Apple, he said he doesn't agree with calls for more regulation on big tech.