A media company stepping in Uber. Really?
Do they want to put screens up with content in the taxis? How does a media company find the added value? Well, the investment wasn’t “strategic
” Axel Springer declared. Strictly a financial deal, as any traditional VC would make.
Firstly, it never really dawned on me that Axel Springer actually has a total of around 100 such digital investments
in the portfolio. I never realised Springer has been a shareholder in Airbnb for example, the expanding online housing intermediary, for five years now.
Secondly, this looks like a bold move, given that Uber provokes strong counterreactions and has had some setbacks in Europe. In Germany and other European countries Uber is actually forbidden after complaints filed by domestic taxi companies.
Many - like Der Spiegel- are predicting the “year of the next tech bubble” . But then again people where skeptical about Amazon as well at the time reporting alleged wage dumping, destroying local retail, ongoing losses, arbitrary pricing, and an eccentric leadership figure. This may all be true, we see now that Amazon has revolutionized retail in a very short time.
A bold move into Uber, but maybe a very smart one as well if Axel Springer is able to somehow leverage the atmosphere of disprution in the rest of the company.