LetterOne (L1), a Luxembourg-based venture capital fund, has made a strategic investment of $200 million in ride-sharing service Uber.
Mikhail Fridman, Chairman of L1, said; “I’m excited by our strategic partnership with Uber. As entrepreneurs, with experience in retail, banking, telecoms and energy sectors, and knowledge of diverse developed and emerging markets, we believe that Uber’s highly talented management team possesses the necessary vision and skills to build the company into one of the world’s preeminent technology businesses”.
Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, said; “Every day millions of people rely on Uber to get from A to B. Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our app to make money. Our goal is simple: reliable and affordable transportation everywhere, for everyone, at the push of a button. L1’s knowledge of emerging markets will be crucial in helping us make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more opportunities for drivers.”
L1, which is based in Luxembourg, has offices in London and is seeking to invest US $2-3 billion in late-stage technology growth opportunities globally over the next couple of years. L1 targets technology investments between US$100 and 500 million, and looks for new strategic partnerships.
Alexey Reznikovich, L1 Technology’s Managing Partner, said: “We have access to considerable funds, and are looking at opportunities of a certain size and certain stage. Digitalisation is creating opportunities globally for new digital businesses to provide innovative forms of customer orientated services, and for existing businesses, and for many sectors, to reinvent themselves”.
“We aim to invest in young but proven businesses. Our focus is on investing in exciting and innovative technologies. We don’t want to focus on any specific sector – but on technologies – because they can jump from one sector to another. We take a long term view and have permanent capital.”
L1’s net asset value was approximately US $25 billion at the end of 2014.